President Akufo-Addo on Sunday said masks are no longer required and that all indoor events can operate at full capacity if participants are vaccinated against COVID.
Dr Peter Quarshie, senior research fellow and deputy director in charge of research at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) has advised Ghanaians to continue to wear face masks when in crowded areas, despite loosening the pandemic measures.
He said that although Ghana has low levels of COVID-19 infections, the country should not drop its guard in containing the virus.
Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Monday (28 March 2022), Dr Quarshie said, “even though there’s nothing to support enforcing mandatory face masks, I’ll still recommend that in large crowds; in public where there’s a lot of people, you wear your facemask because you don’t know what might happen. We talk about omicron, but right now, omicron is about three variants, in the US, they had a mild variant which has now become a serious variant and we don’t know what is going to happen.”
“…We haven’t had that serious variant in Ghana yet so, that’s why we still have to keep monitoring and we still have to keep the surveillance going. I’ll recommend that it’s a personal decision [to wear face mask], there’s no public health risk right now.”
Wearing face masks no longer mandatory
In his address to the nation on Sunday 27 March 2022, President Akufo-Addo said the wearing of nose mask is not mandatory anymore.
According to him, the low levels of infections coupled with the significant numbers of people who have been vaccinated informed his decision “to revise the COVID-19 restrictions.”
He said: “With countries in the ECOWAS Community, especially in our neighbouring countries, presently, like us, recording very low levels of infections, and having significant numbers of our people vaccinated, and on the advice of the national COVID-19 Taskforce and the health experts, I have taken the decision to revise the COVID-19 Restrictions, enacted under E.I. 64.”
He further added that “so, from Monday 28 March, the wearing of facemasks is no longer mandatory. I encourage all of you, though, to continue to maintain enhanced hand hygiene practices, and avoid overcrowded gatherings.”
Fellow Ghanaians, get vaccinated
“To my Fellow Ghanaians who have not received the jab, I urge you to take it. To those listening to the propaganda by the conspiracy theorists and those who are still sceptical about the efficacy of the vaccine, it has been a year since my wife and I got vaccinated; it has not disrupted our physical wellbeing, nor has it caused us to be sick. We are, touch wood, hale and hearty, like the other 13.1 million Ghanaians who have been vaccinated,” he said.