The world has been hit by a deadly pandemic that has taken the lives of over 165,000 people since its outbreak.
On December 31, 2019, China alerted the World Health Organisation of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City in the Hubei province, with an unknown cause.
What started as a mystery disease was later discovered to be Coronavirus/COVID-19.
The COVID-19 has now infected over 2 million people across the globe, with the United States of America recording the highest number of cases – over 639,000.
The US is followed by Spain, Italy, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and then China.
In Africa, the first case was reported in Egypt and the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa was in Nigeria.
Also, most of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa arrived from Europe, China, and the US.
In Ghana, the first cases of the COVID-19 were confirmed on March 12, 2020, by the Ghana Health Service.
The first two cases in Ghana were imported from individuals who had returned from Turkey and Norway.
Ghana’s cases of the coronavirus increased by the second week after the first cases were confirmed. This led government and President Akufo-Addo into taking some very tough and difficult decisions, as a measure to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
As of Sunday, April 19, 2020, President Akufo-Addo in his 7th address to update the country on COVID-19 said Ghana has now recorded 1,042 positive cases, out of which 99 persons have recovered and have been discharged; and nine have died.
Oyerepafm takes a look at eight (8) of the tough decisions President Akufo-Addo has taken since COVID-19 was recorded in Ghana. The list is in no particular order:
1. Closure of borders
President Akufo-Addo, as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel disease, had to close the borders of the country – land, sea, and air.
The borders are currently closed to human traffic. Only goods, supplies and cargo are allowed in and out of the country.
2. Closing of schools
Nana Addo also had the difficult decision of closing down all schools in the country as a measure to avoid the spread of the COVID-19.
3. Ban on social gatherings
The COVID-19 spreads when people move, so President Akufo-Addo had to place a ban on all social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, parties, church, and religious meetings.
4. Partial lockdown
President Akufo-Addo had to partially lockdown some areas in the country where cases had been recorded. The affected areas were Accra, Tema, Kasoa, and Kumasi. The partial lockdown was in place for three weeks. It was lifted on Monday, April 20, 2020.
5. Lifting of lockdown
The first gentleman of the land had a difficult decision of announcing a suspension of the restriction of movement in areas like Accra, Tema, Kasoa, and Kumasi.
At the time when he lifted the lockdown, the country’s case count was at 1,042. Undoubtedly, this will not be an easy decision for Mr. Akufo-Addo and his government.
6. Closure of some markets
President Akufo-Addo had to resort to the closure of some markets in the country for various reasons relating to the COVID-19. This was a difficult one because that was peoples’ livelihood being closed.
7. GH¢1.2b to fund Coronavirus Alleviation Programme
President Akufo-Addo also had the unpleasant decision to raise money that the government didn’t budget for to alleviate the plight of the poor and needy Ghanaians during this COVID-19 period. Some of the money has gone into food packages and hot meals for the poor and less privileged.
8. Free water and electricity for three months
For many Ghanaians, this was a piece of welcoming news but if you are the president of the republic, it is by no means an easy decision to make. This decision means the government will, in turn, lose revenue.