GNA– The Government will absorb the water bills of all Ghanaians for the next three months, from April, as part of interventions to mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 against citizens.
Water tankers, publicly and privately-owned, will also be mobilised to ensure the supply of water to all vulnerable communities.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who announced this, on Sunday, said the Ghana Water Company Limited and the Electricity Company of Ghana had been directed to ensure stable supply of water and electricity during the restriction of movement period.
In addition, there should be no disconnection of electricity supply to citizens.
President Akufo-Addo announced these incentives, among many enhanced measures, during his fifth national broadcast on Sunday night, April 5, to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Government, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries(NBSSI), Business and Trade Associations and selected Commercial and Rural Banks, would roll out a soft loan scheme of up to GHc600 million, with a year moratorium and two-year repayment for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), faith-based organizations and the various Assemblies were also to work closely to provide 400,000 food packages to vulnerable individuals in the 40 localities in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas, which were put under a restriction of movement measure from Monday, March 30.
The Ministry of Transport had made available ‘Aayololo’ buses to convey frontline health workers, for free, in Accra, Tema,Kasoa and Kumasi to and from work along specific routes for the entire duration of the restrictions in these hotpots.
Os security, the President said more senior security officers had been deployed at the operational level to enforce the restriction of movements in COVID-19 hotspot, to enhance command and control.
“I’m fully aware of the disruptions to your lives accessioned by these measures,” the President noted.
“Your personal movements, way of life, the education of your children, your livelihoods, have all been disturbed by these measures.
” These measures, I believe are necessary, if we are to free ourselves permanently of this pestilence”.
He commended citizens for their cooperation so far, saying they had demonstrated the dignity and community spirit of the Ghanaian to rest of the world.
The few deviants, both security personnel and civilians will, however, be made to face the law, he cautioned.
Ghana’s confirmed cases for COVID-19 stand at 214 as at Sunday, April 5, with five deaths and three persons fully recovered from the disease.
There are 189 positive cases recorded in the Greater Accra, 12 in Ashanti, 10 in Northern, and one case each in Upper West, Upper East and Eastern regions.
The President explained: “All the measures government has taken is intended to achieve five strategic objectives: Limit and stop the importation of the virus, contain the spread of the virus, provide adequate care to the sick, limit the impact of the virus on social and economic lives of Ghanaians and inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance”.