President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has extended the mandatory wearing of face masks to December 2020.
He said on Sunday that he had signed an Executive Instrument (E.I) extending the mandatory wearing of face masks for three more months.
Addresing the nation the 17th time on measures to contain COVID-19, the President said the extension would sustain the gains made so far towards winning the battle against COVID-19.
He urged Ghanaians to continue to observe all the existing protocols including social distancing and regular hand washing with soap under running water.
The President encouraged the citizenry to exercise regularly and eat local nutritious Ghanaian foods, to boost their immune system.
He said although the country’s current epidemic update showed a considerable reduction in the number of active cases from 1,847 as of his 16th address a week ago, to 507 persons on Friday, September 18, 2020, the battle was still not over.
Although majority of regions, were currently not recording any case of the virus, the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern and Central regions, remained areas with high number of active cases of COVID-19 infections, accounting for about 80 per cent of the total number of active cases, he said.
He said the country had conducted 470,730 tests, recording 45,258 recoveries and discharges, but 297 persons, majority of whom. had underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic liver diseases and asthma, has died.
“In the face of these encouraging statistics, I know that there are many who are wondering why I have not announced a complete return to normalcy in all aspects of national life, because they believe the figures suggest we have turned the tide in the fight against the virus,” he said.
He said while it was true that the death rate continued to be low, with the hospitals mercifully not being overwhelmed, with currently only 20 severe and critical cases, a lot of empty beds in treatment centres, and isolation facilities had no patients under care, “we cannot afford, at this critical moment, to throw caution to the wind, and destroy the incredible amount of work undertaken by Government, health officials, heroic frontline health workers, and members of the security agencies, in bringing un this far.”
“Now more than ever, we must be even more disciplined in our adherence to the personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing measures that have become part of our daily routines,” saying, it was the way to eliminate the virus altogether.
The President said the experience in other parts of the world showed that the virus could return once guards were let down.