Ghanaian president issues new directives on ceremonies to curb COVID-19 spread

Tightened restrictions imposed as cases continue to rise due to spread of highly infectious Delta variant.

On Sunday, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo imposed new restrictions stipulating that all burial services in the West African country must not exceed two hours and that only family members are permitted to attend. This new directive includes all ceremonies, including weddings and other custom ceremonies. After-party wedding celebrations were also banned until further notice. This comes as the country grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases, which have topped the 100,000 mark. In his televised address, the president detailed the country is facing it’s third wave of infections due to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant and also mandated that all funeral gatherings be held in an open area and that the COVID-19 requirements be strictly followed.

The new restrictions seek to reduce the time frame with which individuals can be in contact thus reducing the infection rates in such gatherings. Over one million Ghanaians, out of the country’s 31 million population, have received at least a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of this around 405,971 people received both jabs while 865,422 received only the first. To date, Ghana has reported 102,103 cases per data retrieved from the Africa CDC. The Ghanaian government introduced restrictive measures for the first time in March 2020 after the country confirmed its first COVID-19 case. Ghana became the first recipient of the first shipment of COVAX vaccines in February this year, receiving 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. The country expects to receive another 18 million vaccines by October.