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Ghana: Press focuses on relaxation of restrictions, border closure

The announcement by the Ghanaian President of the relaxation of the restrictions and that the Ghanaian borders will remain closed dominate the headlines of Ghanaian newspapers on Monday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced in a televised address on Sunday night, May 31, 2020, that the restrictions in Ghana as a result of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have been relaxed.

He explained that the changes in the restrictions order would be implemented in phases in the coming weeks.

“Beginning Friday, June 5, 2020, a total of 100 people can now attend private burials and wedding ceremonies.

“For church services and mosques for prayers, an abridged format for religious services has now been instituted,” he said.

The newspaper also said that the President stated that the borders of Ghana would continue to be closed as part of the precautionary measures instituted to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease in Ghana.

“Our border, by air, land and sea, remains closed until further notice for human traffic. However, given that there are Ghana residents stranded abroad, special dispensation is going to be given for their evacuation back to Ghana, where they will be subjected to the mandatory quarantine and safety protocols,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The newspaper also said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has made significant progress towards regional economic integration.

 The report said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said this when she addressed the media on ECOWAS Day in Accra.

The measures, according to the minister, include the acceleration of economic reforms and the stabilisation of a macroeconomic environment towards the achievement of the region’s single currency agenda this year.

It added that the regional body was also working towards the adoption of a single biometric identity card and passport to enhance market integration.

The Times reported that the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) will by the end of the 2019/2020 academic year disburse GH₵32.3 million to beneficiaries in tertiary institutions across the country.

It is expected that a further GH₵35 million will be paid before the academic calendar ends, according to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Education, Vincent Assifuah.

Reacting to concerns raised by the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) that about 2,000 students under the scheme had not received their first and second semester tranches of the loans they had applied for, Mr. Assifuah, said that the trust fund was well grounded even though there had been some delays in the periodic disbursement of loans in the current academic year.

The newspaper also reported that a lactating mother and her two-year-old daughter were among 14 suspected members of the separatist Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), arrested by a joint team of soldiers and personnel of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), in Kpando, on Saturday.

The suspects, who included two women aged 25 and 60, were said to be holding a clandestine meeting in an uncompleted building at Kpando-Aziavi when the security personnel swooped on them.

Three motorbikes and 10 cellular phones belonging to some of the suspects were seized during the swoop.

“This follows intelligence gathering on the plans and activities of the group in recent time,” according to Lt Col B.B. Pantoah, Commanding Officer of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho, who, however, said that the child was not a suspect.

Published on 28.04.2020

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