President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has extended the incentive package for health workers, particularly frontline staff in the Covid-19 case management teams, by another three months.
In his 13th Covid-19 address on Sunday night, the President said all health workers would continue to pay no income tax for July, August and September.
Again, all frontline health workers, as defined by the Ministry of Health, in addition to the tax exemption, would receive an allowance of fifty per cent (50%) of their basic salary per month for the same period.
He said the implementation of the directive for the months of April, May and June was fraught with some challenges caused mainly by the protracted discussions over the definition of who qualifies as a “frontline health worker” in this context.
The President noted “I have, however, been assured that they have now been resolved, and payments will be effected from the end of June.”He reiterated that the insurance package for health workers was still in place.
“Whilst we appreciate the efforts of our health workers, I will continue to urge them to remain professional and compassionate because every avoidable death, be it corona-related or not, is a tragedy,” he stressed, adding that “let us all be reminded in our daily routines that adhering to the enhanced social distancing and hygiene protocols will not only save our lives but also prevent our healthcare infrastructure from being overburdened.”
Besides, the President admonished the public to continue to abide by the Covid-19 safety protocols.
“Let us wash our hands with soap under running water, use alcohol-based sanitizers, maintain the protocols on social distancing, avoid person-to-person contact, eat our local foods that boost our immune systems, and wear masks at all times when we leave our homes. These are the weapons of our battle,” he said.
The President expressed delight in how religious leaders in the country have supported and embraced the fight against Covid-19, despite their concerns about some elements of the prescribed safety protocols and guidelines, for which reason he promised to continue to engage with them and other stakeholders in the country’s effort to defeat the virus.
He said even though 2020 is one of the most difficult years in recent memory, he indicated that “I continue to feel a sense of gratitude, determination and faith towards you the Ghanaian people, who have shown such extraordinary grace and selflessness throughout this difficult period.
He, therefore, noted with emphasis that “this too shall pass, for the battle is the Lord’s and with Him by our side, we fear nothing but His judgement and need nothing but His grace.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent