The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last night Wednesday December 15, 2021 delivered his 27th update on measures taken by government against the spread of Covid-19.
Key issues that featured in his address span from the country’s vaccination drive to ongoing brouhaha over compulsory vaccination for inbound and outbound travelers at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Here are 5 major highlights of the address:
Akufo-Addo debunks vaccine conspiracy theories
One key issue the president addressed was conspiracy theories being bundled around the vaccine. The president urged Ghanaians to go for the vaccine whiles also dismissing assertions that it could change an individual’s political interests.
“Let me state, as clearly as I can. The vaccines are safe. They will not harm you. They will protect you and your family. Contrary to the mischief being peddled by some, getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections, if you do not want to. This is an outrageous claim. Vaccination cannot change your political preferences. That is not its purpose,” the President explained.
Land borders remain closed
Touching on the demands by residents of Ketu South and Elubo for the land borders to be reopened, President Akufo-Addo stated that it will remain closed to avert a possible spike in the importation of Covid-19.
“As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country. We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open. Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a 4th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice,” the president emphasized.
Observe Covid-19 protocols
President Akufo-Addo charged Ghanaians to endeavor to adhere to all Covid-19 safety protocols as espoused by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) ahead of the yuletide.
“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country. I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy. It is possible, and the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to realise this goal as quickly as possible,” President Akufo-Addo assured.
Akufo-Addo wades into compulsory vaccination debate at KIA
Commenting on the ongoing debate as to whether or not health officials should compulsorily vaccinate passengers traveling out of the country or arriving through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), President Akufo-Addo stressed that it was important to adopt the compulsory vaccination measure to curb the importation of Covid-19.
“These are stringent measures, I know, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives” he stated.
€20 million set aside to establish National Vaccine Institute
On Ghana’s effort to begin production of locally manufactured vaccines, President Akufo-Addo mentioned that an amount of €20 million out of €82.5 million from the European Investment Bank will be used to establish the National Vaccine Institute.
“Two days ago, on Monday, I was in Luxembourg, where I held discussions with the President of the European Investment Bank, Herr Werner Hoyer, on Ghana’s COVID-19 Response Plan. A €82.5 million facility has been approved for Ghana by the Bank for use in the effort to strengthen healthcare delivery, and the provision of specialist medical equipment and medicines across the country. Government has set aside €20 million of this to establish the National Vaccine Institute, which will supervise the domestic production of COVID-19 and other vaccines, led by the private sector and business community,” he said.