The Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged Ghanaians to observe the activities marking the final funeral rites of former President Jerry John Rawlings virtually to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He said all the activities marking the funeral rites of the former President could be viewed, read, or listened to on all the major television stations, radio stations and other platforms on the internet at every part of the country and as such there was no need for people to mass up at the events ground.
However, he advised that if it was necessary for one to physically appear at any of the events marking the final funeral rites of the late President, such persons should strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and the security arrangement at the event.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said this at a press briefing in Accra.
He disclosed that the family of the former President has requested that no cameras should be brought to the inner perimeter of the Accra International Conference Centre where their departed soul would be laid in state.
He, therefore, urged the media and persons who would file past the mortal remains of the former President to respect the wishes of the family.
He said the Rawlings’ Foundation would provide a live feed for the media to enable the media to report on the activities of the inner perimeter of the Conference Centre.
He said the former President would be laid in state at Conference Centre on 25th January and 26th January 2021, adding that President Akuffo-Addo, other government officials and foreign dignitaries would pay their last respect on 26th January.
He said the burial service would be held on Wednesday, 27th January 2021 at the Black Star Square after which his mortal remains would be interred at the Military Cemetery at Burma Camp.
He disclosed that so far, the Heads of State and their representatives that had confirmed their participation include the President of Liberia, His Excellency George Weah, President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Julius Maada Bio, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gambia, Dr Mamadou Tangara and the Minister for Foreign Affair of Congo Brazzaville, Mr Jean-Claude Gakosso.
He mentioned that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office in West Africa, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, as well as a delegation from the ECOWAS Commission, a delegation from Equatorial Guinea led by their Prime Minister and a delegation from Nigeria led by its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jeffery Onyeama would also be present.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said all the diplomates who would be attending the burial service of the former President would be screened by the same protocols for persons arriving in the country which includes which included proof of a negative PCR test done not more than 72 hours and negative antigen test at the airport before they would be let into the country.
Ishmael Batoma, ISD