You are free to marry and bury; funeral or wedding parties banned – Oppong Nkrumah

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Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has clarified that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent ban on social gathering activities such as weddings, does not stop people from getting married.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah told journalists at a COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday, 2 February 2021 that “when it comes to marriage, what the President has said is that what, in Ghana, we call wedding, the full-blown wedding where we have a big party with reception and people dancing and people eating, sitting at reception tables, etc., that is what has been banned”.

“We’ve got a lot of requests about: so what if somebody is having a church service, which is allowed, and they choose to bless their marriage there, as part of the church service? I’m not sure that is what has been banned. It’s the wedding. The full-blown wedding with its reception and social activity associated with it is what has been banned”, the Ofoase Ayirebi MP clarified.

Similarly, he clarified that the ban on funerals does not mean people cannot bury their dead ones.

“The president did not ban burial service because the activity of burial, we actually encourage to go on”, he said, adding: “What is banned is the funeral where typically in the Ghanaian community we will all gather, shake hands, announcements of people, then they’ll call for a song, people will come and dance, where there is a little party associated with it. That is what has been banned”.

Meanwhile, eight more people have succumbed to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 424 from 416 as announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, 31 January 2021 in his 23rd address concerning the disease.

At the same press briefing, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said as of 30 January 2021, 67,782 cases had been detected through 783,432 tests representing 24,917 tests per million with a cumulative positivity rate of 8.7 per cent.

He said 61,843 cases (91.2%) have recovered and been discharged with 424 deaths representing a fatality rate of 0.63%.

Currently, there are 5,515 active cases with the majority of them being in Greater Accra (56.7%), Ashanti (16.0) and Western (6.1%) regions.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said although 243 districts in the 16 regions of Ghana have recorded cases, ten regions did not register an increase.

Averagely, he noted, 700 cases are being reported daily with the Greater Accra Region still being the epicentre.

Cases in the Greater Accra Region are mainly located in the Accra Metropolitan area and its adjoining districts.

There is also an increasing number of workplace outbreaks, he noted, adding that the positive cases of international travellers have declined.

He also observed that there is an appreciable usage of face masks in the Greater Accra Region over the past one week.

Distribution of new cases

The total of 772 new cases reported from fifty-three (53) districts in ten (10) regions

• Greater Accra recorded the highest number (84.8%) of new cases – 544 in 20 districts with Ayawaso West and Korle Klottey recording the highest number of cases

Ashanti Region – 97 in 13 districts with Oforikrom recording the highest

• Eastern Region – 9 in Denkyembour

• Western – 25 in Sekondi Takoradi (20), Wassa East (3), Ahanta West (1), Jomoro (1)

• Upper West Region – 16 in Wa

• Volta – 25 in Ho (10), North Tongu (5), Kpando (1), Keta (3), Ketu South (4), Central Tongu (1), Ketu North (1)

• Upper East – 7 in Bolgatanga

• Northern – 34 in Sagnerigu (11), Tamale (23)

• Western North – 1 in Sefwi Wiawso

• Bono – 10 in Jaman South (4), Wenchi (2), Dormaa East (4)

• KIA reported 3 new cases over the period

• Remaining 6 regions reported no new cases:

• Oti, Bono East, North East, Savannah, Central, Ahafo

KIA cases

• Total No of Cases: 1,136

• Male: Female (61%: 39%)

• Ghanaian: Non-Ghanaian (41%: 59%)

• Total tests: 152,667

• Cumulative Positivity Rate: 0.74

Schools

Limited outbreaks have been reported in Senior Secondary Schools in the Upper West, Western and Greater Accra regions.

• 3 cases limited outbreaks have been reported in 2 Senior Secondary Schools from Upper West

• 34 contacts screened in the Upper West SHS schools yielded one additional positive case. Thus, a school has 3 active cases and the second has 1

• One case in Daboase in Western Region

Facemask survey

• Assess adherence to the mandatory wearing of a facemask in the Greater Accra Region

• Six target districts (current hotspots; Ayawaso West, Korle Klottey, Ayawaso East, Accra Metro, Ablekuma Central, Ga West )

• 43 communities visited (lorry stations, bus stops, busy streets, street intersections, overhead, under traffic light crossings, markets, other commercial centres etc)

• Data was collected on the morning of 29 January 2021 (7 am to 10 am)

• Compared to the previous survey in October 2020, the number of people wearing the facemask correctly has increased from 10% to 42% and those not wearing the facemask correctly have decreased from 72% to 36%

• 78% of the people observed had an intension to use the facemask, out of which 42% wore the facemask correctly.

• 22% of the people observed were not wearing the facemask at all.

• The proportion of people who were correctly wearing the facemask were slightly higher among males (43.1%) than females (41.3%)

• The proportion of people who were correctly wearing the facemask were slightly higher among children (43.5%) than for adults (42.0%)

• Ayawaso West District registered the highest proportions of people who were wearing the facemask correctly (57.3%)

• Ga West District registered the lowest proportions of people who were wearing the facemask correctly (29.1%)

• The top 3 communities/locations that had the highest proportions of people wearing the facemask correctly were:

• University of Ghana, Legon entrance at Okponglo (81.2%)

• University of Ghana, Legon main entrance near the police station (78.8%)

• GCB Towers street (74.7%)

• The top 3 communities/locations that had the highest proportions of people NOT wearing the facemask correctly were:

• Nima Market area (73.6%)

• Glife lorry station (73.2%)

• Osu Market entrance (71.6%)

Source: Class FM