Ghana’s president has lifted the partial lockdown imposed in the country to stem the spread of coronavirus, but the ban on gatherings is still in place, local media reported.
The ease in restrictions came into effect from 1.00 a.m. local time (0100GMT) on Monday, according to News Ghana, an online news portal.
The move makes Ghana one of the first few countries in the world to have lifted restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Easing the preventive restrictions was “in view of our ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons,” the website quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo as saying.
“Lifting these restrictions does not mean we are letting our guard down […] I am demanding even greater adherence to these measures.”
While educational facilities still remain closed, businesses have been allowed to operate conditionally.
“Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, observing staff management and workplace protocols with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols,” the report said.
The 3-week-long lockdown had been imposed in the capital Accra, as well as Kumasi, Tema, and Kasoa cities.
The West African nation has so far confirmed 1,042 COVID-19 cases, and nine virus-linked deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year has spread to 185 countries and regions. It has killed more than 165,000 people and infected over 2.4 million.
The U.S. is the worst-affected country with nearly 760,000 people testing positive, and 40,000-plus dying.