Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has explained that the reintroduction of restrictions on social gatherings does not affect marriage ceremonies in churches and mosques.
Last Sunday, January 31, President Akufo-Addo, in his 23rd televised address, announced a ban on social gatherings including weddings, concerts, parties and funerals (25 persons) while pubs, beaches and night clubs remained closed until further notice.
This follows the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, with daily average cases hovering around 600 and 64 people dead within two weeks.
Giving further clarification on the ban at a media engagement on COVID-19 Update in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said, marriage ceremonies held during church service under strict COVID-19 protocols were allowed.
“What the President said was that, when it comes to marriage, in Ghana, what we call wedding, where we have a big party with reception and people dancing, eating and sitting at a reception table etc, that is what has been banned,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained.
Therefore, marriage ceremonies in the church and mosque with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols could go on.
President Akufo-Addo last Sunday reintroduced a ban on all social events, including weddings, funerals and other social events, which had sparked public debate.
The directive, according to the President, was based on science and data, which suggested that the surge in COVID-19 cases was due to non-adherence to preventive protocols social gatherings during the Yuletide.
Some people have raised questions as to why religious gatherings have been allowed to go on, but weddings, funerals, concerts and other social gatherings had been banned.
Likewise, he said, burial services could take place but with 25 persons at a particular ceremony.
“The President did not ban burial service because the activity of burial, we actually encourage to go on so that we wouldn’t have bodies piled up at the mortuary… What is banned is the funeral where typically in the Ghanaian community, we gather, shake hands, announcing people’s contributions, then they’ll call for a song, people will come and dance, that is what has been banned,” the Minister-designate explained.
Meanwhile, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), giving update on COVID-19, said, Ghana had recorded 5,515 active cases, 424 deaths and 61,843 discharges or clinical recoveries, as of January 30,2021.
The Greater Accra Region accounted for 56.7 per cent of the total cases, while the Ashanti and Western regions accounted for 16.0 per cent and 6.1 per cent of cases respectively.
Two hundred and ninety-four (294) persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were on admission, with 34 being critical, 122 severe and 138 having mild to moderate cases.