Government to Pass Emergency Legislation to Help Deal with Coronavirus

The Attorney General’s Department has been directed to present a raft of emergency legislation to Parliament to enforce recent directives announced by the President to check the spread of the coronavirus in Ghana.

The submission of the emergency legislation to Parliament will be in accordance with Article 21 (4) (c) and (d) of the Constitution.

“I have further directed the Minister for Health to exercise his powers, under section 169 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) by the immediate issuance of an Executive Instrument to govern the relevant measures,” the President said in his address to the nation on an update of coronavirus,” President Nana Akufo-Addo announced during a televised national address late Sunday evening.

In what many fear is a steady spread of the fast-spreading coronavirus disease, Ghana has recorded six confirmed cases of the virus.

The President also announced a ban on public gatherings for four weeks and an indefinite shutdown of all schools and universities across the country.

The President revealed during the address that the latest directives follow a series of discussions with an inter-ministerial committee on coronavirus response he had chaired.

“Earlier today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, I chaired a meeting with the inter-ministerial committee on coronavirus response. After deliberations, I have decided in the interest of public safety and the protection of our population to review the public gathering advisories,” he explained the basis of the sweeping reforms.

The President called on Parliament to support the Executive by passing the emergency legislation that will be submitting by the Attorney-General.

In a related development, the state earlier Sunday reviewed its travel advisory and has closed its borders to travellers from countries with more than 200 cases of coronavirus.

In an update on the state’s efforts at fighting the global infection, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, urged airlines to stop affected travellers from boarding flights, while citizens and resident-permit holders will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

“All travel to Ghana is strongly discouraged,” he said.