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COVID-19: Mosques being disinfected nationwide

All mosques across Ghana are being disinfected in anticipation of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by President Nana Akufo-Addo, which includes a ban on social gatherings.

The exercise, which was started from the Abbosey Okai Central Mosque, is in response to a plea by the National Chief Imam, Sheik Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu to the government during the recent virtual Eid al-Fitr celebration.

The spokesperson for the Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremayao Shuaib, stated the readiness of the Muslim community to prevent further spread of the deadly virus if restrictions were lifted by government.

“If, in the evaluation of the government, the government comes to a conclusion that time is right for the restriction to be eased, what is left to us to do is to look at the preventive measures and adhere to them”, he said.

He added: “One of them is the disinfection which is taking place. Another one is making sure that at the entrance of our worship places, we make sure that there is disinfectant – sanitisers or the Veronica buckets where every person will be examined or wash his hands before and then the temperature gun; we’ll also have some volunteer who will be placed there to ensure that we’re checking the temperature”.

“We’ll also want to make sure that our ablution bay is well disinfected and arrangements are such that no two persons will use the same water can for ablution. We have a tap where once any person finishes, there’s a way to disinfect the tap so that the next person can also use it.”

Last week, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced that stakeholder consultations were taking place on the way forward toward the easing of COVID-19 restrictions so that the social and economic lives of Ghanaians “can go back to normal”.

“I expect these consultations to conclude this week”, he said at a virtual national Eid celebration on Sunday, 24 May 2020, adding: “So that I can announce to Ghanaians a clear roadmap for easing the restrictions”.

“We have to find a way back, but in safety, for we cannot be under these restrictions forever”, the President said.

President Akufo-Addo said at the Eid ceremony that his confidence in easing the restrictions is “fortified” by three considerations: “Firstly, sad though any premature death is, the hard fact is that the rate of deaths in Ghana amongst confirmed cases is very low – one per one million, i.e. 0.0001%, one of the lowest in Africa, and, indeed, in the world, this, despite the very high number of tests we are carrying out”.

“This has been so since the very beginning of the outbreak over two (2) months ago. The number of positive cases stands at six thousand, six hundred and eighty-three (6,683), out of one hundred and ninety-four thousand, seven hundred and sixty-three (194,763) tests conducted, with one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight (1,998) recoveries. This means that our positivity rate, that is the ratio of confirmed cases to the total number of tests conducted, is 3.43%, which, again, is one of the lowest in Africa, and in the world.

“Furthermore, virtually all the thirty-two (32) corona-related deaths, that have so far been recorded, were of persons with, what the doctors call, comorbidity, i.e. with other underlying causes and diseases. Most of them died within twenty-four (24) hours of admission to hospital. May their souls rest in peace. It appears that, by the grace of God, Ghanaians are not dying of this virus in the numbers that were originally anticipated and feared”, he observed.

Secondly, the president noted, the “numbers of severe virus cases that have been hospitalised have been persistently low since the outbreak”, adding: “The fear that our hospitals would be overburdened, and, indeed, overwhelmed has, so far, again by the grace of God, not materialised. As we speak, there are sixteen (16) severe cases in six (6) hospitals across the country, none of them on a ventilator. We pray for their speedy recovery”.

Thirdly, he announced: “We now have a more robust mechanism for enforcing our central strategy of defeating the virus – the application of the 3Ts, tracing, testing and treating. The tracing teams are more experienced and more efficient; testing capabilities are no longer concentrated in Accra and Kumasi, but spread more evenly across the country in Ho, Tamale, Navrongo, Takoradi and Cape Coast; treating capacity has been considerably enhanced with isolation facilities better distributed across the nation”.

“These developments, and continuing strong adherence to the social distancing and hygiene protocols, including wearing masks and strengthening our immune systems by eating our own foods, will enable us to face the future with greater confidence, as we battle to defeat the virus, and pray for our healthcare workers. And, it is appropriate that we should end this unique Ramadan with this declaration of confidence in the future, because, as I have said, this too shall pass! For the battle is the Lord’s!!”

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Ghana has risen to 7,616, according to the latest figures from the Ghana Health Service.

The number of recoveries has also risen to 2,421.

The death toll remains 34.

Regional breakdown

Greater Accra Region – 5,331

Ashanti Region – 1,160

Western Region – 395

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