President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said domestic airlines can resume operations in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak but they must ensure that all the health and safety protocol outlined by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organsaitions (WHO) to tackle the pandemic are adhered to.
Mr Akufo-Addo said this in his 7th address to the nation on the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday April 19.
In that address, he announced that the restrictions placed on the movements of persons in areas of the country hard-hit with the outbreak, have been lifted. But added that all the safety measures must be adhered to.
The president gave the assurance that the pandemic is under control in the country and the decision for the lifting of the restriction was backed by science and data.
He said : “Operators of public transport including buses, trotros and taxis are to continue to run with a minimum number of passengers as they have been doing for the last three weeks in maintaining social distancing.
“They must also continue to ensure maintenance of the enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals by providing amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soaps for washing of hands.
“Domestic airlines are required to adhere to the same protocol.”
Mr Akufo-Addo also announced that the government will start disbursing the GHS600 million stimulus package to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in May this year as part of efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 on businesses.
He explained that the GHS600m forms part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
“I know the effects of the measures to contain the virus have been difficult for many, and that is why I mandated the creation of the GH¢1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to support households and businesses.
“Out of this amount, six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) of assistance is being provided to micro, small and medium-scale businesses. I expect disbursements of the six hundred million cedis to start in May,” he stated.
“We will be very active to start distribution and so on and so forth. We know that each contribution we have received is going to help in combating the disease because we will be strengthening and supporting those involved in the combat activities as well as to help to alleviate the plight of the needy,” he added.
Also, out of the GHS1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, two hundred and eighty million cedis (GHS280 million) is being used to provide food for the vulnerable and free water for all Ghanaians for three (3) months, i.e. April, May and June, while, three hundred and twenty three million cedis (GHS323 million) is being used to motivate health workers.