President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is urging safe and responsible celebrations this festive season to prevent post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.
He has asked Ghanaians to adhere to the set COVID-19 protocols during the season in order not to jeopardise the gains the nation had made in the fight against the pandemic, as the disease gathers steam across the world.
In a televised Christmas message to the nation on Thursday, the eve of Christmas, the President said though the yuletide would be observed in a subdued manner because of the pandemic, Ghanaians had every reason to be thankful to God for his divine intervetion during the highs and lows of 2020.
He noted that in spite of the COVID-19, the story of Christmas provided once again an opportunity "to affirm our faith, hope and trust in the Almighty God and His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to imbibe in us a sense of appreciation and hope in times of adversity and triumph over uncertainty".
"We in Ghana have good reason to be thankful to the Almighty God for how far He has brought us. Our nation is united and at peace; we continue to be a beacon of democracy on the continent, having conducted, even in the midst of the pandemic, a transparent, free, fair credible and safe general elections, which has been so adjudge by impartial domestic and international observers.
"Our economy is rebounding at a rate that was originally anticipated, we are ensuring that the basic elements of social justice- that is wide access to quality education and better health care- are being met. Food is affordable, and is in abundance in our markets, and we are seeing to the transformation of the Ghanaian economy which will bring in its wake jobs for the youth of our nation.
"We are not there yet, but there is now a greater belief that with discipline, determination and hardwork, we will make it....And I assure you that our nation is being put on the path of progress and prosperity," he said.
However, Ghanaians must adhere to the set COVID-19 protocols during the Christmas season and not to jeopardise the gains the nation had made in the fight against the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo implored.
"In all our celebrations and reflections on 2020, let us adhere to the COVID-19 protocols by respecting the enhanced hygiene and mask wearing protocols. It may be unconventional, especially at a time we gather to make merry, but that is one way to ensure that we make it to the new year healthy and alive.
"Let us celebrate safely and responsibly. All of us must avoid anything that would jeopardise the lives of our beloved ones and put others in harm's way. Let us be a blessing in the lives of those in need, and through our actions bring good cheer to all.
"I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. May the Christmas season bring you joy and may the new year usher in a new era of blessing and growth for you and for everyone you hold dear by the grace of the Almighty," the President said.