The Bank of Ghana has clarified that all banks and financial institutions will remain opened to the public during the two-week partial lock-down of parts of Accra and Kumasi from Monday, March 30, 2020.
This follows the announcement by President Nana Akufo- Addo indicating that some essential service providers such as banks and other financial institutions will not be affected by the partial lock-down.
Regardless of that announcement, some Ghanaians have been trooping to the banks and other financial institutions to make withdrawals.
A statement from the Bank of Ghana, also urged the banks and other financial institutions to operate with a minimum number of staff and make available Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and all digital platforms as part of measures to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
“Following the address to the nation by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Ghana’s enhanced response to the coronavirus pandemic, on Friday, 27th March, 2020, the Office of the President has clarified that all banks and financial institutions will be opened,”
“The Bank of Ghana, therefore wishes to inform Banks, Savings and Loans Companies, Finance Houses, Rural and Community Banks, Microfinance Institutions and Forex Bureaux to trigger their business continuity plans with minimum number of staff, to ensure their doors are open to the general public and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), electronic channels and all payment platforms are functional,” the statement noted.
The Bank of Ghana further advised the public to refrain from panic withdrawals and observe all health and safety protocols put in place by the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service.
Currently, Ghana’s case count has risen to 141 cases with 5 deaths and 2 recoveries. Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases is almost 600,000 with over 27,000 deaths.
Partial lockdown of COVID-19
On Friday, 27th March, 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo imposed the partial lockdown of Accra, Tema and Kumasi which have been identified as the epicentres of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
In a nationwide address, he stated that “effective 1:00 am on Monday, 30th March, some forty-eight hours from now, I have imposed, pursuant to the powers granted the President of the Republic, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), restrictions on the movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA, which includes Awutu Senya East), and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, for a period of two (2) weeks, subject to review.”
He said the decision “will give us the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.”