- President Akufo-Addo has delivered his fifth address to the nation in the wake and spread of the coronavirus pandemic
- The president disclosed that the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) has been sent to Parliament to protect households and livelihoods, support SMEs, among others
- Here are five relief items being rolled out by the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
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Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo has delivered his fifth address to the nation in the wake and spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has compelled the government to take stringent measures to stem its spread.
In a televised broadcast to the nation on Sunday, April 5, 2020, the president delivered an update on the latest enhanced measures taken by the government in the fight for the preventive and containment of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that he had directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimise job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.
This is part of efforts by government to mitigate the economic hardships being experienced by Ghanaians due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands hospitalised many, crashed stock markets, and impacted global health systems.
Here are five relief items being rolled out by the government to support Ghanaians and frontline health workers amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. No water bills for all Ghanaians for the months of April, May and June.
The Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana have been directed to ensure the stable supply of water and electricity during this period.
In addition, there will be no disconnection of supply. Furthermore, Government will absorb the water bills for all Ghanaians for the next three months, including April, May and June.
2. No taxes on emoluments for 3 months for all health workers; additional allowance for frontline health workers.
An insurance package, with an assured sum of three hundred and fifty thousand cedis (GH¢350,000) for each health personnel and allied professional at the forefront of the fight, has been put in place, with a daily allowance of one hundred and fifty cedis (GH¢150) being paid to contact tracers.
Government has also decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their emoluments for the next three months, including April, May and June.
Furthermore, all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of fifty percent (50%) of their basic salary per month for March, April, May and June. The March allowance will be paid alongside that of April.
3. Free transportation for health workers.
The Ministry of Transport is also making available, for free, ‘Aayalolo’ buses to convey health workers in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa to and from work, along specific routes, for the entire duration of the restrictions.
4. Free packaged food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes.
The Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), will be working with MMDCEs and the faith-based organisations to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions.
5. Government to roll out a soft loan scheme of up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GH¢600,000,000)
Government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Business & Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, will roll out a soft loan scheme of up to a total of six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million), which will have a one-year moratorium and two-year repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses.
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Meanwhile, the Disease Surveillance Department has confirmed that nine more cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Ghana as of April 5, 2020.
Six of the nine cases were recorded from the Greater Accra region and three from the Ashanti region.
Out of the 214 cases, three have recovered and 18 others have been discharged and are being treated at home.
In other news, Ali Shaibu, 24, a Ghanaian indigene resident in Italy has died after being bed-ridden for weeks at an immigrant camp in the country.
The late Ghanaian immigrant reportedly travelled from Ghana to the European country to seek greener pastures to upgrade his standard of living.
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