President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, announced an extension of the Government’s policy of free access to water for all households across the country until the end of December.
In addition, the Government was fully absorbing electricity bills for one million active lifeline customers for the same period, and further reducing Communication Service Tax from nine per cent to five per cent, effective September 2020.
The President, who made the announcement in his 19th national televised update of Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the measures were part of the Government’s efforts to cushion ordinary Ghanaians and businesses, against the effects of the pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo said the incentive package for health workers had also been extended to the end of the year, explaining that all health workers would not pay any income taxes for the months of October, November and December.
Again, all frontline health workers, as defined by the Ministry of Health, would continue to receive the additional allowance of fifty per cent (50 per cent) of their basic salary per month, for the months of October, November and December, the President said.
He had earlier raised concerns about the recent increases in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in some parts of the country, and the reduction in the compliance with the preventive protocols.
The President said in order to help arrest the new threat of rising infections, the Government was going to reaffirm the steps that had served the nation well so far.
“We are enhancing the measures of tracing, testing and treatment, (3Ts),” and in addition to this, “we will continue to limit the importation of the virus, embark on the strategic, controlled easing of public gatherings, enhance public education and information, and continue to provide relief and support to individuals, families and businesses,” he said.
“To this end, I have instructed the release of additional logistics, including vehicles, to the Ghana Health Service in order to help beef up contact tracing, and the supervision and monitoring of asymptomatic cases being managed from home. We are also employing the use of technology to augment our contact tracing efforts, as well as the supervision and monitoring of home care cases,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo encouraged the public to be even more disciplined in their adherence to the personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing measures to ensure that the government did not impose, all over again, the restrictions being imposed in other parts of the world.