President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to celebrate Easter quietly, and warned against the flouting of social distancing rules over the holidays, in the bid to curb the surge of the COVID-19 disease.
In an Easter message on Thursday, he asked that all forms of public gathering and merrymaking should be avoided, noting that though the country had made considerable progress in the fight against the disease over the past year, “we are by no means out of the woods yet.”
Thus, all Easter conventions, picnics, parties, social gatherings are to be avoided. Night clubs and pubs are to remain closed. Concerts, funerals, and spectators going to stadia to watch football games are banned until further notice.
However, church services are permitted, but for a maximum of two hours. And private burials with no more than 25 people can take place with the strict enforcement of social distancing rules.
President Akufo-Addo said it was imperative that the citizenry eschewed complacency and adhere strictly to the set protocols that helped Ghana manage the spread of the disease prior to last year’s Christmas.
Those gains, he said, would be protected at all cost, warning that the Police would ensure strict conformity to the restrictions and “anyone found to be flouting them will be dealt with in accordance with law.”
“Collectively, we have since worked hard to ensure a marked reduction in the number of active cases. The government together with the security services will make sure that this time these gains are protected.
“Let us be each other's keeper until covid-19 is eradicated and poses no more threats to our lives and livelihoods,” he stressed.
Touching on the essence of Easter, President Akufo-Addo noted that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the foundation of the Christian faith, symbolized God's Plan of Salvation for the redemption of mankind from sin and the grave.
He said the season was a good opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus Christ made, learn the Christ-like virtues of faith, hope, love, and forgiveness, and the assurance that that sacrifice would cleanse the nation of the scourge of the pandemic.
“I know this is not how we wanted to celebrate Easter. However, just like Christ rose again on the third day. I'm sure Ghana and indeed the whole world will rise again as we celebrate Christ's victory over sin, death, and the grave.
“The blood spilt on the cross will heal our land and cleanse us of our iniquities. Just as Christ is risen, Ghana will also rise,” he said, confident Ghana’s economy “will be back again. The future is bright.”
The President further appealed to Ghanaians to make the Easter holiday period one devoid of the usual road accidents that characterize the festive period.
“It is my hope that this Easter will be celebrated without any road accidents, ”he urged, adding, “Like we have done with the covid-19 safety protocols. Let us also embrace a positive road safety culture and keep our families and nation safe.”