Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the social activities that go on in cinemas, enclosed night clubs and beaches have contributed to the government’s hesitation to ease restrictions in such areas.
According to him, there are high-risk levels associated with the places and their activities when it comes to the spreading of the novel coronavirus.
Speaking on The Probe with Emefa Apawu, he explained that if these places are opened, while the risk levels remain high, it could lead to an outbreak or the second wave of the virus.
“Take the night club, for example, you have alcohol, loud music, and people are straining to shout to get somebody to hear what they are saying. Therefore, the risk of spittle or droplets unto the third party remains pretty high,” he said.
“Countries, including England, that were quick to open the bars, cinemas, restaurants, beaches among others faced outbreaks leading to their shutdown once again,” he added.
His comments come after many people questioned why the President, during his 18th address to the nation on measures taken to fight coronavirus, did not lift the restrictions on these areas.
Cinemas were closed when the pandemic first hit Ghana propelling some parts of the nation to go into lockdown.
After some months, although restrictions placed on areas including churches, public transport and public gatherings were lifted, beaches, cinemas and enclosed night clubs remained closed.
The National Film Authority’s Action Group had called on the President to ease restrictions on the operations of cinemas after he delivered his 17th address to the nation.
The group, in August, stated that the restrictions were beginning to have a major effect on the movie industry and businesses.
However, the Minister on Sunday assured that the President will continue to have broad conversations with stakeholders and advisers to review the risk levels and ensure a smooth easing of restrictions.
“Take football, for example, for many months while golf and other contact sports were cleared, football remained under consideration because there was a need to do more work on it.
“It is the same work that is going on with the night clubs, the cinemas, the beaches and other places where we are of the view that risk is still high.”
The Information Minister stated that the decision to open cinemas, beaches among others will be taken on any day as long as the data examined ensures a smooth transitioning.
“So as the President said we are not out of the woods yet. It is better to be late than to rush and to make mistakes,” he added.