In an address to the nation on Sunday (May 28, 2023), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
The President, who has been at the forefront of Ghana's response to the virus, shared updates on the country's enhanced response and outlined the achievements made in combating the pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo started his address - the 29th since Ghana recorded its first cases of COVID-19 - by expressing gratitude to the Ghanaian people for their patience, understanding, and cooperation throughout the challenging times. He acknowledged the efforts of health workers, scientific experts, religious leaders, traditional authorities, the private sector, and various stakeholders who played vital roles in Ghana's fight against COVID-19.
The President highlighted that the World Health Organization (WHO) had announced on May 5th, 2023, that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of global concern.
He said there had been a decreasing trend in COVID-19 related deaths, hospitalizations, and intensive care admissions, leading to the conclusion that the public health emergency had technically ended worldwide.
President Akufo-Addo provided an overview of Ghana's COVID-19 situation, stating that as of May 15, 2023, there had been 1,462 deaths attributed to the virus in the country.
He noted that Ghana had recorded no critical or severe cases at present. Since the first confirmed case in March 2020, there have been 171,758 positive cases out of 2,538,198 tests conducted.
Additionally, over 25 million vaccine doses had been administered, with 10.5 million people fully vaccinated, surpassing the initial target of 20 million.
Based on these positive developments, the COVID-19 Taskforce chaired by President Akufo-Addo made far-reaching decisions, including the lifting of all remaining COVID-induced restrictions at airports and entry points. Ghana has returned to the pre-COVID situation regarding health entry requirements.
The President acknowledged the sacrifices made by Ghanaians during the pandemic, including the closure of schools, businesses, and places of worship, and the significant impact on daily life.
While celebrating the end of the crisis, President Akufo-Addo urged citizens to maintain certain preventive measures that had proven effective during the pandemic.
These include regular handwashing, personal hygiene practices, and periodic cleansing, disinfection, and fumigation of public spaces like markets. He also highlighted the positive outcomes resulting from the crisis, such as the strengthening of disease surveillance systems, the expansion of health facilities, and the establishment of the National Vaccine Institute and vaccine manufacturing plants.
The President recognized the significant financial costs associated with the COVID-19 response and assured the public that all expenditures would be subject to audit and parliamentary processes.
He expressed gratitude to frontline workers and announced the conclusion of the COVID Trust Fund's mandate. President Akufo-Addo concluded by thanking all individuals, institutions, and sectors that played a part in Ghana's successful response to the pandemic.
With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana now looks forward to recovering from the economic challenges caused by the crisis.
President Akufo-Addo assured the nation that his administration would continue to take measures to revive the economy and address the consequences left in the wake of the pandemic.
As Ghana enters this new phase, the President urged citizens to remain vigilant, resilient and united in the face of any future challenges, emphasizing that the country's success in combating COVID-19 was a testament to the determination and collective effort of the Ghanaian people.