Ghanaians prepare to usher in 2022 amid Omicron spread


At exactly 0000 hours Saturday dawn, the story of the Year 2021 would become history, opening a fresh page for the scripting of a new story for the Year 2022.

Worldwide, the New Year is moment of celebration for millions of people and is marked with diverse activities from midnight and throughout the day.

In Ghana, Watch Night Services and other vigil activities herald the New Year festivities, with thousands of people keeping wake to welcome the New Year.

And when the Clock finally announces the New Year, a moment of thunderous excitement is experienced in every part of the country, especially at the Watch Night Services where thousands gather to usher in the New Year.

Revellers on the other hand gather at the various pubs and clubs to make merry and celebrate throughout the night until daybreak.

In other parts of the world, the New Year is greeted with fireworks amid loud music in the streets.

Ghana currently has banned some category of firecrackers from being imported, displayed and used.

The Executive Instrument (E.I.) 21 of 1999 prohibits the manufacture, possession or carriage of any explosives, including firecrackers.

That notwithstanding, the celebration is never complete without the blaring of firecrackers, a tradition that has characterised the occasion for years.

Usually during the day, families and friends gather to reunite, fraternise and set fresh resolutions and targets for the year.

Beaches, restaurants, malls, hotels and recreational centres record high patronage throughout the day as thousands converge to make merry.

Meanwhile, with the Ghana Health Service announcing that the country has entered the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, activities for the New Year are likely to be in muted forms.

Already, some churches have announced measures to help reduce the spread of the virus when they gather to worship and usher in the New Year, Friday night.

The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council had issued a circular to its members, encouraging them to as much as possible, hold out-door services to ensure adequate social distancing.

The Greater Accra Regional Security Council had also directed beach operators to demand vaccination cards from patrons before they were allowed entry.

Revellers are also required to wear their nose masks throughout to prevent a spread of the virus.

Unlike previous years where groups particularly churches would organise picnics to celebrate the New Year, the outbreak of the fast-spreading Omicron variant is likely to cancel such gatherings.

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