Covid-19 Business & Economic Update – 10 July 2020

10 July 2020: COVID-19 Business update on Ghana Business News

  • Ghana’s infection rate is 23,463 with 641 new cases as at 9th July, 18,622 recoveries and 129 deaths (ghanahealthservice.org)
  • World infection rate is now at 12.3 million, 7.17 million recoveries and 556,335 deaths (worldometer.com). USA leads with 3.2 million infections while Brazil now has the highest daily infection rate recording 1,129 new cases for the day
  • All companies have been warned to adhere to COVID-19 protocols or risked being shut down. The Minister of Information has hinted that Government is considering inspection of workplaces for compliance to COVID-19 prevention protocols
  • Ghana’s supreme court is shut down to resume sitting on 14 July.  This is due to COVID-19 fears
  • Ghanaian health authorities are putting measures in place for the mobile testing of Covid-19 infections in due course
  • Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has disclosed that about 90% of workers at his Ministry have tested positive for the Covid-19.
  • The NBSSI has so far disbursed loans to about 10,000 under the government COVID-19 stimulus package
  • Nine students of the Mpraeso Senior High School in the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region are said to be in isolation over suspected Covid-19 infection.
  • Italy has banned entry to people coming from 13 countries that it said presented an excessive rate of COVID-19 infections.
  • The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in northwest Syria, aid workers have said.
  • Greek authorities say they are ready to re-impose public and travel restrictions next week, warning that safety guidance for the coronavirus is being frequently ignored.
  • The famous beaches in Brazil’s tourist hot spot of Rio de Janeiro will only reopen officially for sunbathers and swimmers once there is a vaccine for COVID-19, Mayor Marcelo Crivella has said (Aljazeera.com)
  • The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on Chile, which was once regarded as Latin America’s strongest economy. About 2.5 million people are out of work.
  • A local businessman in Brazil has introduced a ‘hug curtain’ in a nursing home to help reunite families.  The hug curtain is a transparent plastic sheet hung from the ceiling in a nursing home where family members who want to reunite stand on either side to hug each other.  It has made reunions possible between elderly residents and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The World Health Organization published new guidance Thursday, saying it can’t rule out the possibility that the coronavirus can be transmitted through air particles in closed spaces indoors, including in gyms and restaurants.
  • A pilot in Thailand who has been affected by COVID-19 job slashes has taken to delivery job.  The pilot Nakarin Inta, a commercial pilot for about four years now delivers orders for Line Man, a local messenger app.  “I thought, I cannot just sit there and wait for help. I have to fight for my family. I have to do something and I have both hands, I have my motorbike so I found my part-time job. And now I am a food delivery man. ” (cnn.com)
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has canceled all large events across the city through September 30, according to a statement from his office.

07 July 2020: COVID-19 Business update on Ghana Business News

  • Ghana’s case of infections now at 21,077, with 16,070 recoveries and 129 deaths (ghanahealthservice.org)
  • Hon. Osafo Marfo tests positive for COVID-19.  His case is the latest of high-profile infection cases with the virus
  • The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, is in the 3rd day of a 14-day isolation as a precautionary measure.  According to a press release, someone close in his circles has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
  • Months after the government announced the stimulus package to support businesses in the wake of the COVID-19, Dr Edward Ackah Nyamike, President Ghana Hotels Association, has revealed no member of his association has yet received the stimulus package although they have applied to benefit from the funds.
  • Robert Ahomka–Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, has said government is ready to reposition the manufacturing sector to help lead the economic revival of the country as plans are far afoot for a post COVID-19 economy.
  • 2020 Manufacturing awards was held at Kempinsky on 5 June 2020, amidst tight COVID-19 protocols.
  • The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has lost four of its members to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.  In total about 150 members have been infected out of which some have recovered. This was disclosed in a statement by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the GMA.
  • Korle-bu Teaching hospital closes for non-emergency surgeries following staff testing positive for COVID-19
  •  A recent survey by the IHS Markit Ghana indicates that businesses want borders open as their continuous closure have restricted companies’ ability to import goods, thereby, resulting in shortage of raw materials and leading to price hikes.
  • Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has released a press statement indicating that it will close down its head office in Accra for fumigation exercise.  This has become necessary after some staff tested positive for Covid-19 following a mass testing exercise.
  • At least 36 staff of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) are in self-isolation, having come into direct contact with a stakeholder who got infected with the COVID-19.
  • Telecommunications giants, MTN Ghana has extended its fee waiver for mobile money transactions of 100 cedis and less for three more months.  Statement also said “Customers with a daily limit of GHS300 can still transact up to an amount of GHS1, 000, whereas those with daily limits of GHS2, 000 and GHS5000 can transact with values of GHS5, 000 and GHS10, 000 respectively.
  • World infections is 11.6 million, 6.6 million recoveries and 538,593 (worldometer.com)
  • Somalia’s cabinet has approved the resumption of local flights from Sunday, with one daily passenger flight to and from regional states.
  • Israel reimposed a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, including the immediate closure of bars, gyms and event halls.  , Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they have to reverse course to avoid a wider lockdown that could paralyse its economy.
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has undergone another test for the coronavirus, shortly after the presidential palace said the right-wing leader had displayed symptoms consistent with Covid-19 (cnbc.com)
  • India reports more than 23,000 new cases of coronavirus, overtaking Russia to become the country with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
  • The number of deaths in France from the new coronavirus has risen by 27 since Friday to 29,920, the country’s health department said.
  • The United States passed another grim coronavirus milestone as the death toll from the virus climbed past 130,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • European markets fall as investors look to economic data and U.S. virus surge.
  • Melbourne the 2nd largest city in Australia heads back into coronavirus lockdown  again from midnight on Wednesday following surge in cases.
  • COVID-19 Business updates in Ghana Business News

22 June 2020, Ghana’s Covid-19 case count rises to 13,717 with 10,074 recoveries and 85 deaths. .

  • COVID-19 Business updates on Ghana Business News; Ghana’s Covid-19 case count rises to 13,717 with 10,074 recoveries and 85 deaths. .
  • Global COVID-19 case count hits 8.97 million, recoveries now 4.77 million and 467,699, deaths as at Sunday, June 20 2020.
  • Government of Ghana has expanded the number of COVID-19 treatment centres from 33 to 71, to ensure that all infected persons receive quality care.
  • NBSSI is still receiving applications for the SME businesses after extending the deadline
  • Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections, which caused the country’s virus reproduction rate to spike.
  • Passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport and French people crossed the border to buy bargain alcohol and tobacco on Sunday as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain COVID-19.
  • The UK’s debt is now worth more than its economy after the government borrowed a record amount in May.  The £55.2bn figure was nine times higher than in May last year and the highest since records began in 1993.
  • Irish airline Aer Lingus is set to cut as many as 500 jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The carrier said it had been operating at five percent of its capacity due to lockdown restrictions.
  • Three months after the pandemic brought life to a standstill, some offices and non-essential business in NY will be allowed to partially reopen.
  • China’s President Xi Jinping has said his nation will exempt some African countries from repaying zero-interest-rate loans due at the end of 2020.
  • COVID-19 Business updates on Ghana Business News

15 June 2020, Ghana’s Covid-19 case count rises to 11,964, with 4,258 recoveries and 54 deaths. This was disclosed by President Akuffo-Addo on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

  • Ghana’s Covid-19 case count rises to 11,964, with 4,258 recoveries and 54 deaths. This was disclosed by President Akuffo-Addo on Sunday, June 14, 2020.
  • Global COVID-19 case count hits 8.01 million, recoveries now 4.1 million and 436,138, deaths as at Sunday, June 14, 2020. USA is the leading country in all three indicators. However Russia is topping in new deaths recording 143 in the last 24 hours. Brazil has not recorded new deaths (worldometer.com)
  •  President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has made the wearing of face masks mandatory, in the wake of the sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Ghana. He stated that the Police and law enforcement agencies will enforce this directive through an Executive Instrument.
  • The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has wished Ghana’s Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, a speedy recovery from COVID-19.Kwaku Agyeman Manu is currently receiving treatment at the University of Ghana Medical Centre after he got infected with COVID-19.
  • Economist, Dr. Lord Mensah, has advised government to be measured in its borrowing on both the domestic and international markets. According to him, the current environment does not support borrowing.https://citibusinessnews.com
  • Ghana’s cocoa regulator is struggling to pay purchasing agents for beans bought from farmers after the coronavirus pandemic slowed exports and curtailed sales.  https://www.myjoyonline.com
  • Stanbic Bank has donated Covid-19 items to three health care institutions to help in their fight against the pandemic. The institutions are Ghana Health Service (GHS), Cardiothoracic Unit of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and 37 Military Hospital.
  • Parliament has approved a request to waive Domestic VAT totaling US$3.1 million on local purchases and services in the rehabilitation and upgrading of equipment in Technical Universities, Polytechnics and Technical and Vocational Training Centres
  • Bank of England ‘ready to act’ as economy shrinks record 20%. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said he will be “ready to take action” to help the UK economy weather the coronavirus crisis. He was speaking after figures showed that the country’s economy shrank by 20.4% in April – the largest monthly contraction on record – as the country spent its first full month in lockdown. https://www.bbc.com/
  • Ride-sharing giant Uber is to make it mandatory for passengers and drivers to wear face coverings from Monday in the UK. https://www.bbc.com
  • African leaders say China will supply the continent with 30 million testing kits and 10,000 ventilators each month as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates there.
  • Virus lockdown eases in England and France as non-essential services open up for business
  • More than 7.8 million people in total have been infected with the coronavirus, about 3.7 million have recovered, and at least 430,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • France declares ‘first victory’ against coronavirus. All of mainland France to go into a ‘green zone’ lower state of alert, allowing cafes and restaurants to fully reopen.  https://www.aljazeera.com/
  • The Fiscal Policy Lead at Oxfam Ghana, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng has predicted Ghana’s Fiscal deficit for the year 2020 to increase from a programmed GH¢ 18.9 billion n to GH¢ 30.2 billion. According to him, due to the sharp decline in global crude oil prices as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ghana will suffer a loss of GH¢ 5,679 million in expected oil revenue in 2020 fiscal year. https://www.ghanaweb.com
  • COVID-19 Business updates on Ghana Business News

  • 08 June 2020 COVID-19 Business Updates: Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts now stands at 9,638 confirmed Cases, nearly 3,636 recoveries, and 44 deaths https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/
  • Global COVID-19 case count hits 7.1 million, recoveries now 3.5 million and 406,441, deaths as at Sunday, June 7, 2020. (worldometer.com)
  • US still tops with 2.0 million cases, 1.13 million recoveries and 112,469 deaths However Brazil is new epicentre with 813 new deaths bringing total deaths to 37,312. Infection cases are 691,962 with 302,084 recoveries
  • The Ghana Mission in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has served notice that it will begin the evacuation of stranded Ghanaians in the country on Friday, June 12, 2020. Fees for the evacuation have been pegged at GHS 4,000 and GHS 7,900 for the economy and business class respectively
  • The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has appealed to government to engage shipping lines to waive charges on goods that may have passed their clearing dates due to unresolved technical issues with the UNIPASS system at the ports.
  • The continuous closure of Ghana’s borders as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 is taking a toll on small scale enterprises in the Northern Region. Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) that largely engage in export are bearing the brunt, as they are unable to export their products to neighbouring countries and other places. https://citibusinessnews.com
  • The tourism and hospitality sector, the government has announced a nine-million-dollar facility to boost the industry, as part of measures to lessen the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry The facility comes from the World Bank under the Tourism Development Project.
  • 41 Ghanaians have arrived in Ghana from the United States of America as part of the government’s arrangement to evacuate stranded citizens from foreign land amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Managing Director of Nyaho Medical Centre, Dr Elikem Tamaklo, has tested positive for Covid-19. Dr Tamaklo made this known on his Facebook wall, adding that positive diagnosis has affected his family, but according to Rita Agyeiwaa Rockson, the Media Laison of the Centre “they are all well.”
  • Government is set to begin the disbursement of the Covid-19 stimulus package by the end of the second week of June. This comes after more than 100,000 applications were tendered by business owners and entrepreneurs, following the launch of the programme. https://www.myjoyonline.com
  • The World Bank Group, in its Economic Prospects report analysis, says during the Covid-19 recovery period, countries will need to calibrate the winding down of public support and should be targeting broader development challenges
  • Kim Jong Un has discussed the possibility of using chemicals, fertilisers to boost North Korea’s economy, which has been hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. https://www.aljazeera.com/
  • The United Kingdom Government has announced new rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. The rules, which will have come into effect, will ensure that all those arriving by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will self-isolate and face fines of up to £1,000 if they do not follow the rules. https://www.bbc.com
  • A former US treasury secretary says public investment will be key as the world recovers from the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. Larry Summers told the BBC that central banks are going to become “less relevant”, as interest rates are going to be near zero for much of the time. “Fiscal policies are going to be more important in supporting economic expansion,” he said. “And public investment policies are going to play a larger part.” https://www.bbc.com
  • Amazon is expanding its aircraft fleet as it sees phenomenal demand during the pandemic. The company yesterday announced it is leasing an additional 12 Boeing 767-300 converted cargo aircrafts from Air Transport Services Group (ATSG). They will join the 70 aircrafts currently in the fleet. Amazon Air is also opening three new Regional Air Hubs this year and in 2021. (bloomberg.com)
  • An unknown investor is making a fortune from Zoom’s surge of 484% of their value. 
  • Angela Merkel approves €131 million (Euros) as Germany’s stimulus package
  • US unemployment rate was surprisingly better than expected at 13% instead of the projected 19% for the month of May
  • BA threatens to fire all 440 pilots and engage them on an individual contract basis
  • More COVID-19 business updates to follow soon

01 June 2020 COVID-19 Business Updates: Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts now stands at 8,060 confirmed Cases, nearly 2,947 recoveries, and 36 deaths https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

  • Easing would take the phased approach from 5th June. Public gathering particularly religious activities, are allowed 25% of seating capacity and 1 hour of service time
  • Schools re-open from 15 June for final year students for universities and SHS, while final year JHS schools re-open on 29 June 2020
  • Restaurants can operate with social distancing rules and spread prevention guidelines
  • Public social gatherings and private burials limited to 100 persons with full compliance to preventive measures
  • Bars, night-clubs, funerals still remain closed
  • Borders on land, air and sea remain closed
  • Global cases reach 6,2 million, with 2.76 million recoveries and 371,472 deaths. The US tops in both infection rate and deaths at 1,817,409 and 105,575 deaths and 535,361 recoveries
  • Thirty-five of the 231 Ghanaians who were deported from Kuwait last week have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • NBSSI continues the process of disbursing the stimulus package,
  • Despite criticisms and skepticism that greeted president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise to construct of 88 new district hospitals across the country, he has assured that the project described by some critics as ambitious will commence in July this year and it is expected to last for one year (pulse.com.gh)
  • Pope Francis said on Sunday that people are more important than the economy, as countries decide how quickly to reopen their countries from coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Saudi Arabia’s mosques opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday for the first time in more than two months as the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, eased restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus. Worshippers headed to mosques for dawn prayers amid strict regulations requiring use of face masks and personal prayer mats, avoiding handshakes and standing at least 2 metres apart.
  • A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr Patrick Opoku Asuming, says that food crisis may be the next major thing that will hit Ghana post-Covid-19, if it does not take immediate steps to increase food production in the country.
  • A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and escaped with a batch of coronavirus test samples, it has been reported. The bizarre incident saw the troop of primates launch their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India. According to local media, the animals then snatched COVID-19 test samples from three patients and fled.
  • Renault is cutting 15,000 jobs worldwide as part of a €2bn (£1.8bn) cost-cutting plan after seeing sales plunge because of the virus pandemic.
  • “This plan is essential,” said interim boss Clotilde Delbos, who announced a bigger focus on electric cars and vans.
  • The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor has said. “The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television. He said clinically, the virus no longer exists in Italy. (Reuters).
  • COVID-19 Business updates continue later

26 May 2020 COVID-19 Business Updates: Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts now stands at 6,964 confirmed Cases, 2,097 recoveries, and 32 deaths https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

  • Global cases reach 5,631,831 million, 2,399,258 million recoveries and 348,965 deaths (worldometer.com)
  • Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Baffour Adjei Bawuah has disclosed that 33 Ghanaians have died from COVID-19 in the US. He also added that about 300 Ghanaians who are stranded in the US have requested for assistance to return home.
  • The Government of Ghana is yet to take a decision on whether to bring all Ghanaians abroad back home amid the COVID-19 induced border closure. This was disclosed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu during a press briefing on Tuesday morning.
  • The National Board for Small Scale Industries, NBSSI, says it is not charging any fee for the application process for government’s GHS1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme. This is in response to reports that some applicants are being charged between GH₵200 and GH₵250 by some persons to access the loan package announced by government.
  • The Ghana Statistical Service in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, and the World Bank will from Tuesday, May 26 to June 20, 2020, conduct a Business Tracker Survey to track the impact of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on businesses in Ghana.
  • A former Education Minister, Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, is asking government and schools to have a long term measure of dealing with the pandemic in schools before they are reopened. https://www.myjoyonline.com
  • Educationist Professor Stephen Adei has said that government should not be in a rush to open schools to students while the country is still fighting the coronavirus. He, however, asked the government to open the schools to only the final year students.
  • The planning committee for the Ghana Beverage Awards (GBA) has announced that the 2019 edition will be held virtually and streamed on TV and online on June 13.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has temporarily suspended testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference on Monday. https://www.aljazeera.com.
  • 10. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is set to reopen its trading floor on Tuesday after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the exchange is likely to look and feel very different as new rules come into effect. The NYSE is one of the few bourses to still feature floor trade – most have shifted to fully-electronic trading. https://www.bbc.com/news
  • Latin America’s largest airline LATAM of Chile is seeking U.S. bankruptcy protection.   LATAM posted profits for four consecutive years totalling more than $700 million. It had recently approved a dividend payment.  LATAM laid off 1,800 employees out of over 40,000 in the lead-up to its bankruptcy filing.
  • After an initial rush for the stimulus package, small firms in the U.S. leave $150 billion in coronavirus stimulus untapped as application has dried up
  • COVID-19 Business updates continue shortly

22 May 2020 COVID-19 Business Updates: Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts now stands at 6,486 confirmed Cases, 1,951 recoveries, and 31 deaths https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE
  • Global cases reach 5.2 million, 2.09 million recoveries and 334,891 deaths (worldometer.com)
  • Professor Emeritus of the Ashesi University, Stephen Adei says teachers must be ready to forgo 50% of their salaries if they want to continue staying at home. The outbreak of Covid-19 in Ghana has resulted in the closure of schools to curb the spread of the disease and teachers have been at home since March.  
  • The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), has outlined the categories of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which qualify to benefit from the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Scheme. Categorisation is as follows; micro-enterprises with one to five employees, small enterprises with 6 – 29 employees and medium enterprises with 30 to 99 employees.
  • As at end of day on Thursday, 21 May 2020, about 5000 online applications had been made on the CAP Business stimulus portal.
  • About 9000 Ghanaians lose jobs due to hospitality industry hit
  • The local airlines continue to operate and have received a commendation from IATA for its effective protocols in ensuring safety of domestic flight operations. This follows the disinfection of all four major airports amid the resumption of on-board domestic flight operations subsequent to the 3-week partial lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that the government has not taken yet taken any decision on when schools will re-open. This comes after some teacher unions, parents and other stakeholders expressed their worries that the reopening schools at a time that Ghana continues to record Covid-19 cases will pose as a threat to teachers and students (myjoyonline.com)
  • President Akufo-Addo has announced auditing and accounting firm KPMG to serve as technical advisors to the GH¢1 billion stimulus package to be managed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
  • China abandons the annual GDP goal for first time in decades as it moves to address coronavirus impact on the economy. With 20,000 deaths and more than 310,000 infections, Brazil is fast approaching Russia to become the world’s second coronavirus hotspot, behind the United States. China will not announce an annual growth target for 2020 as it tries to rebuild its economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. https://www.aljazeera.com
  • Anger is growing towards the British government over its refusal to exempt overseas NHS workers, many of whom are currently putting their lives at risk on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, from paying a fee for healthcare. While doctors, nurses, and paramedics have been granted a one-year exemption from the charge amid the pandemic, those working in lower-paid roles such as hospital cleaners, porters, and carers must still pay. https://www.aljazeera.com/.
  • Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, has said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commended Ghana’s aviation sector. (Ghana web).
  • The global aviation industry is losing around $1.6b per day (
  • 38 million Indians out of jobs due to the tourism industry collapse
  • he Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) have agreed to suspend charges on digital banking platforms until June 20, 2020. The waiver of fees, which took effect on March 23, 2020 was part of measures put in place to encourage customers to use digital payment alternatives or transactions and reduce contacts with banknotes to avoid the possible spread of the novel Coronavirus disease. https://www.ghanaweb.com
  • Tax revenues of the German government and the 16 federal states declined by 25.3% in April from a year earlier to around 39 billion euros ($43 billion) due to the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry’s monthly report showed on Friday.
  • More of COVID-19 Business updates to Ghana Business News

19 May 2020 COVID-19 Business Updates: Ghana’s Covid-19 case counts now stands at 5,735 confirmed Cases, 1,754 recoveries,  and 29 deaths https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

  • COVID-19 Business Updates: Global infections rate now at 4,909,136 with 1,917,414 recoveries and 320,434 deaths
  • The coronavirus death toll in the United States surpassed 90,000 on Monday as the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed above 1.5 million across the country, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. The grim milestones came as US President Donald Trump tweeted to “REOPEN OUR COUNTRY!” and the White House attempted to shift blame, including onto its own scientists, for the high number of deaths. https://www.aljazeera.com
  • The United States economy is powered primarily by consumers opening their wallets and shelling out for things, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of growth. So when retail sales register an historically awful plunge, the case for a long and painful recession grows stronger. That is what happened on Friday. The US Commerce Department reported that retail and food service sales in April posted their biggest decline on record, plummeting 16.4 percent from the previous month, and 21.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. https://www.aljazeera.com
  • France and Germany are proposing a €500bn ($545bn; £448bn) European recovery fund to be distributed to EU countries worst affected by Covid-19. In talks on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the funds should be provided as grants. The proposal represents a significant shift in Mrs Merkel’s position. Mr Macron said it was a major step forward and was “what the eurozone needs to remain united”.
  • President Donald Trump has lashed out again at the UN’s health body by labelling it a “puppet of China”. The comment came hours after the US said the World Health Organization (WHO) had let Covid-19 spin “out of control” at the cost of “many lives”. “There was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed,” US Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday. Mr Azar made the comments in an address to the UN’s World Health Assembly. https://www.bbc.com
  • The Minority in Parliament has threatened to drag the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison to Parliament for breaching the Bank of Ghana Act in respect of financing government expenditure. According to the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, the Central Bank has so far printed 5.5 billion Ghana cedis to fund government expenditure. This he says is illegal and could further increase the levels of inflation in the country. https://citinewsroom.com
  • The National Board for Small Scale Industries will launch a portal within this week [18th May to 22nd May] to start receiving applications for the utilisation of the GHS600 million soft loan scheme for micro, small and medium scale businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Pre-Tertiary Educational Unions Teacher Unions in Ghana want schools to remain closed because of the threat of COVID-19 even if the ban on public gatherings is not extended by the President. In a letter addressed to the Director-General of Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, the unions said they “would not ascribe to the re-opening of the schools, should the President of the Republic decide not to extend the 31st May 2020 deadline and order the re-opening of the schools
  • Spain lifted on Tuesday a ban on all direct flights and ships from Italy since March 11 during its coronavirus lockdown, according to the government gazette.  Travellers from Italy will have to comply, however, with a two-week quarantine like other foreign visitors, while a state of emergency is in place. (Reuters)
  • The Ghana Revenue Authority has outlined measures to help boost revenue “The Revenue Authority is like any other business or any other individual in the midst of storms you need to retreat, look at the situation, look at what has happened and try to strategize to see how do you keep yourself going.
  • The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah said, “What we are doing today is really looking at the targets, looking at the areas that have been affected. Reviewing the expectations of these areas that have been affected. We are doing assessment and we will be able to come out with what we see as the realistic revenue that we can anticipate from these areas…”for the government as the coronavirus pandemic hit the various sectors of the economy. https://www.myjoyonline.com/business/economy/gra-outlines-measures-to-boost-revenue-amid-covid-19/
  • Economist, Prof. Peter Quartey, has backed the Bank of Ghana’s decision to support government’s budget to cushion the economy from the adverse impact of COVID-19. The central bank has indicated that it is supporting the Ghanaian economy with ten billion cedis to bridge the budget deficit caused by the global pandemic. The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has said that the central bank is making ready 5.5 billion cedis of the total budgetary support.
  • Uber to cut 3000 jobs globally.
  • Premier leagues in Europe begin to return in action.  Bundesliga commenced the last weekend while English premiership begin training this week.
  • The British government is banning companies who borrow from the COVID-19 funding scheme from paying bonuses and dividends to management and shareholders respectively
  • President Trump threatened to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider the membership of the United States (Reuters)
  • Coronavirus crashes the garment industry in Asia.  It could be recalled that many of the top clothing brands moved production lines to Asia to benefit from lower wages, less stringent labour rights among other things
  • New car registrations in Europe fall 76% in April as coronavirus lockdowns hit sales.  Italy and Spain saw the biggest losses, with car registrations falling by 97.6% and 96.5%, respectively.  In Germany, demand dropped by 61.1% and France saw an 88.8% contraction in April, according to the association.
  • More of COVID-19 Business updates on Ghana Business News

15 May 2020; COVID-19 Business Updates, Ghana’s Covid-19 case count is now 5,530 with 674 recoveries.

  • The Upper West Regional Police Command is searching for a 15-year-old boy suspected to have been infected with COVID-19 but subsequently escaped from a quarantine facility. The boy escaped from the St. Theresa Hospital in Nandom where he was awaiting the test result of his sample..
  • The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is asking the government to inject about GHS 18 billion into the various sectors of the economy to help mitigate the losses associated with the COVID–19 pandemic.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of technology and the need to prepare for a significant disruption to lives especially in terms of work, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani has stated
  • The United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said that as of mid-2020, the gross domestic product (GDP) in developed countries will plunge to -5.0 per cent, while the output of developing countries will shrink by 0.7 per cent, the World Economic Situation and Prospect (WESP) report said.
  • Whistle-blower Rick Bright warned on Thursday that the United States lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. The nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively, he told a congressional panel.
  • The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has granted the Hospitality Industry the green light to resume operations after months of Covid-19 imposed suspension..
  • The Ghana Revenue Authority has issued a guidelines providing the framework for the smooth application of tax incentives announced by Government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The head of the World Trade Organization has said he will step down a year earlier than planned, at a crucial moment for the global economy. Roberto Azevedo’s surprise departure comes as the WTO faces the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and criticism from US President Donald Trump.Global trade has slumped and the world is braced for the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
  • The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by almost 3 million last week as virus shutdowns continue to weigh on the US economy.The filings brought the total number of new jobless claims since the middle of March to more than 36 million.That amounts to nearly a quarter of the American workforce.The weekly figures have been falling since the end of March but remain massive by historic standards, eclipsing the prior record of 700,000.
  • As part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on businesses in Ghana, the government has tasked its Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to come up with an economic recovery plan to get the country’s economy back online.This was announced by President Akuffo-Addo during his 9th Covid-19 national address on Sunday, May 10, 2020. But an Economist with the Databank Group, Courage Boti, has urged government to focus the economic recovery plan on those sectors that will give the country the most immediate returns, turnaround the economy and create jobs while keeping the incomes of people at an appreciable level..
  • The Executive Secretary of the Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC), Mr Tweneboah Kodua-Boakye, says the novel coronavirus pandemic has brought so much pressure on the liquidity position of their members due to the increase in the demand for loans and withdrawals.
  • The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has estimated that a full one-month lockdown across Africa would cost the continent about 2.5 percent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), equivalent to about US$65.7bn per month.
  • The Jaman North District in the Bono Region has reported one suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19).  The suspected patient is said to be a Ghanaian and resident of Sampa.
  • The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) says that over 200,000 Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises will benefit from the government stimulus package announced a few months ago.
  • The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, says “every Member of Parliament should have been tested” for the novel coronavirus by now. Akandoh said this in disagreement of the recall of Members of Parliament in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 case in Ghana..
  • The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu is demanding the withdrawal of a directive from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) asking power sector firms to charge VAT, GETfund and NHIL levies on electricity they sell to the Electricity Company of Ghana. A letter from the GRA dated 4th May 2020 announced the directives, indicating that such services will no longer be zero-rated.
  • Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, is continuing to urge Ghanaians to strictly adhere to public health advisories since the novel coronavirus “will be here for a while.” “The last time I came here, I made some very good factual statements that the coronavirus has come to live with us and we have to live with it,” he said at a press briefing on Thursday morning.
  • Absa Bank Ghana has deployed 50 new Intelligent Automated Teller Machines (iATMs) to enhance its ATM services and provide convenient banking services to its customers. In addition, the Bank has increased ATM daily cash withdrawal limit in excess of GHS 9,000 to support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A 24-year-old has been remanded and awaiting trial for disseminating fake news on social media to incite the public to commit crime. Bless Amedegbe is reported to have made claims in a recorded video in which he incited the public to defy the imposed restriction directive by the President aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus in the country.
  • Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has lashed out at the World Health Organization (WHO) for being skeptical about the efficacy of the country’s Covid-Organics drink, purported to be a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Rajoelina has put his reputation and credibility on the line touting the medicine as a cure. Madagascar President blasts WHO, says drink cures COVID-19 in 10 days.
  • More COVID-19 Business Updates on Ghana Business News

20 April 2020; COVID-19 Business Updates, 21-day of partial lockdown lifted, Ghana’s Coronavirus cases at 1,042..

  • 21-day partial lockdown is lifted, Businesses are to operate, however businesses should adhere to strict hygiene guidelines (President’s speech)
  • Government lifts ban on movements to and issues new directive to wear masks in the country (President’s Speech)
  • Ghana’s Coronavirus cases reach 1,042, 9 deaths, 99 recoveries.  Community to imported cases are 77percent and 23 percent respectively.  The largest infested age groups are 35 – 44 more males have been affected that women
  • Global cases now at 2.4 million, deaths are 160,000, with 615,000 recoveries (worldometer.info/coronavirus)
  • 5 local companies have earnestly begun production of PPEs for country (President’s Speech)
  • Local banks to release some GHS 3billion to support industries, especially, the pharmaceutical industry (President’s speech)
  • Relief from electricity bill is expected to reach GHS 1 billion.  This would be funded with the IMF facility and the remainder used to support budgetary expenditure for 2020 (President’s speech)
  • The police at Lakeside Estate arrested 19 persons last Saturday, for breaching the restriction orders of the lockdown president and the social distancing protocol.
  • 2.5 million cooked foods were distributed to vulnerable persons in Greater Accra and Kumasi, while raw food were distributed to 450,000 families (President’s speech)
  • Government has announced the removal of all charges on Cargoes that have been at the ports since the lockdown of parts of the country by President Akufo-Addo.
  • Some staff of the Tema General Hospital (TGH) are threatening to abandon post as management conceals information on colleagues who have tested positive to COVID-19.
  • Despite the withdrawal of the new levy on LPG in Ghana, consumers are still being billed to pay, that is according to the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) and the LPG Marketers Association. 
  • The levy which was introduced by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was expected to make LPG operators charge 13.5 pesewas extra for each kilogram of gas purchased. This move was met with a lot of public outcry, requesting stakeholders to cancel the levy.
  • The high cost of internet service in Ghana during this time of the coronavirus outbreak poses a challenge to businesses and Ghanaians in general as they deal with the effect of the pandemic. CEO of Hubtel Ghana, Alex Bram
  • As part of measures to ensure traders and buyers adhere to social distancing protocol and reduce over-crowding in the various markets, the Sunyani Municipal Assembly has demarcated specific areas in the Municipality for the populace to buy and sell.
  • Work has commenced to establish virtual offices for 300,000 public sector workers to utilize a platform dubbed “smart workplace project”. The initiative is being carried out by a collaboration between the Ministries of Communication and Finance and the virtual platform will soon be made available to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) across the country.
  • The Kpando Circuit Court in the Volta Region has fined a pastor and two others for defying the Presidential directive on public gathering.  They were fined GH¢36,000 for breaching the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012) for holding a service at the Church of Pure Christ in Peki.
  • The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has donated an amount of GHC10 million to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
  • A 28-year-old UK-based Ghanaian nurse lost the battle to Coronavirus shortly after she tested positive for the disease.  According to reports, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong was heavily pregnant and underwent a caesarean section to save her daughter.  Although it is not clear if the baby has tested positive for the virus, reports say she is “alive and being cared for.”
  • Director of Business Operations at the Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson has advised the general public not to go into long term banking investments at the moment as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy.
  • The Somey Traditional Area in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region has hinted of plans to create a local buffer stock of food to guard against possible food shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  They predict a possible shortage due to the closure of the Ghana-Togo border.
  • All major global financial markets begin to inch up on the flattening of the COVID-19 curve in countries that have been mostly hit
  • US deaths go past 40,000.  New York registers almost half of the death toll with more than 742,000 coronavirus infections reported countrywide.
  • It took only four weeks for the U.S. economy to wipe out nearly all the job gains in the last 11 years.
  • Many media workers have been infected with COVID-19 while working in the field, without any safety measures in Pakistan
  • South African Airways is nearing collapse and planning to fire all staff with one-week wages for each year of service.  The company has been struggling before the outbreak which has aggravated their woes.
  • Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble Co. reported its biggest U.S. sales increase in decades as Americans stocked up on household mainstays like toilet paper, laundry detergent and cough medicine as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country (wsj.com)
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro fired his health minister on Thursday after a series of disagreements over government efforts to contain the new coronavirus. “I just heard from the President Jair Bolsonaro the news of my dismissal from the health ministry,” Luiz Henrique Mandetta posted on his verified Twitter profile.
  • The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has donated US$250,000 to the Ghana COVID-19 Trust Fund established by President Akufo-Addo to mobilise resources towards containing the spread of Coronavirus in the nation.
  • More on COVID-19 Business update coming up

17 April 2020; COVID-19 Business Updates, 19th day of partial lockdown, Ghana’s Coronavirus cases at 641…

  • Ghana’s coronavirus cases are 641, 83 recovered, 8 deaths, 71% no travel history, 29% with travel history (Ghana Health Service)
  • Global cases reach 2.2 million, 148,000 deaths and 558,000 recoveries (worldometers.info/coronavirus)
  • US cases reach 680,000, 34,600 deaths and 57,800 recovered.  This is the highest word data, followed by Italy; 169,000 cases and 22,000 deaths and Spain 185,000 cases and 19,000 deaths respectively
  • The government of Ghana’s fiscal deficit is projected to reach 9.5% of GDP by the end of this year.  That is according to a revised forecast by the International Monetary Fund.Director-General of the Ghana Standard Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo, says eight candidate vaccines for treating COVID-19 are being evaluated for its safety and will be ready before the end of 2020.  According to him, two out of the eight vaccines have already begun human trails in different laboratories around the world.
  • The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has called on the government to appeal to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and shipping lines to give unconditional waivers on demurrage and rent charges during the lockdown period.(CLICK ON STORY TO READ MORE)
  • The NBSSI has commenced modalities for the disbursement of GHS600 million soft-loan scheme provided by the government to cushion small scale businesses against the impact of COVID-19 outbreak
  • A pastor and two church workers have been sent to the Ho Central Prison to serve a four-year jail term each for flouting the ban on social gathering. The pastor was said to have held church service at Tongor-Abui in the South Dayi district last Sunday for more than 50 people in clear breach of the ban on religious gathering contrary to Regulation 1 sub-section 1 of EI 65 and section 6 of Act 1012.
  • China revises their death toll by 50%. An extra 1,290 has been added to it but China denies a cover up.
  • Senegal, an important air hub in West Africa, has extended a suspension on all flights to and from its soil until May 31 as part of measures to contain coronavirus, Their cases currently stand as 300
  • Tanzania has reported four new cases of Covid-19, raising the national tally to 53.  Three Covid-19 patients have died, while eleven others have recovered, according to the health ministry.  The Prime Minister Mr Majaliwa added that President John Magufuli had also directed that some Tsh500 million ($215,367), that was supposed to be used for the 56th Union Day celebrations, be diverted to the fight against coronavirus. 
  • Africa could become the next epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
  • The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres told a virtual conference on Africa hosted by the World Bank and IMFthat the continent needed more than $200 billion to respond to the pandemic and mitigate its economic impact.  He has suggested that the IMF should allocate new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).  An SDR allocation is akin to a central bank “printing” new money, a strategy the US opposes. 
  • A 99-year old WWII veteran, Captain Tom Moore has raised GB£17 million (UD$21.2 million) for NHS charity in the UK, by completing 100 laps on his compound.  He decided to raise GB£1,000 by doing 100 lapses before his 100th birthday which falls at the end of April.  To his amazement donations hit over GB£15,000 when he completed the walk.  He is still walking as long as donations keep coming.
  • Pakistan has defied a lockdown order to congregate for Friday prayers at some mosques.  Pakistan has seen at least 7,008 coronavirus cases so far, with at least 134 deaths, according to the government’s data. At least 1,757 patients have recovered.
  • Iran’s government has hinted that businesses in Iran’s capital will begin reopening on Saturday.  This is in spite of a warning for a 2nd wave of attacks of the COVID-19 virus.
  • As restaurants shut down and lay off staff, Ghost restaurants are hiring. According  to CNBC, a ghost restaurant C3 is set to hire 1000 employees in April.  Ghost kitchens allow restaurants to prepare food solely for delivery.
  • European stocks traded higher on Friday after a report that a drug developed by Gilead Sciences was showing effectiveness in treating the coronavirus.
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES

15 April 2020; COVID-19 Business Updates, 17th day of partial lockdown, Ghana’s Coronavirus cases at 636…

  • 17th day of partial lockdown in Ghana, Ghana’s cases 636, 17 recovered, 8 deaths (Ghana Health Service)
  • Global cases now 2 million, 127,500 deaths, 492,000 recovered (https://www.worldometers.info/).  This translates to world death rate of 6.4 percent and reducing while recovery rate is 24.6 percent.  USA tops list with 615,000 COVID-19 cases, 26,000 deaths, 38,800 recoveries
  • The Government of Ghana has provided extra spectrum to two of the telecommunication giants in the country, Vodafone and MTN Ghana to enable them to meet the data needs of the internet users in the country.
  • The Government of Ghana spends GHS2 million (US$350,000) daily on feeding the vulnerable
  • Per President Akuffo Addo’s announcement of absorbing 50% of 3-month water bills of Ghanaians, the government is expected to cough up GHS300 million.  The period in question is April, May and June. 
  • Nigeria has recorded its biggest one-day rise in Coronavirus cases after confirming 30 new cases on Tuesday.  The country has so far confirmed a total of 373 cases including 11 deaths.
  • Following the chaos associated with the sharing of food to the vulnerable, the Information Minister has advised that the local government and Gender Ministries have come out with a guideline to guide the distribution of the food.  It is expected that the vulnerable abide by the guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus; adding, if that is not done, government can decide to stop distributing the food.
  • The Ghana Mission to the United Nations and Consulate-General of Ghana in New York have indicated that “a number of Ghanaians” have passed away from the novel Coronavirus in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised Ghana’s economic growth rate for this year from 7.5% of Gross Domestic Product to 1.5%.  
  • Five persons could face jail after they were arrested by the police for flouting the COVID-19 lockdown directive.  The 5 suspects arrested were playing draught in a popular neighborhood at Krofrom in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
  • In the US, for example, twice as many men have been dying from the virus as women. Similarly, 69% of all coronavirus deaths across Western Europe have been male. Similar patterns have been seen in China and elsewhere. (full article: https://www.bbc.com)
  • ‘Disinfodermic’ putting lives at risk: According to WHO, unreliable and false information is spreading around the world to such an extent, that some commentators are now referring to the new avalanche of misinformation that’s accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘disinfodemic’. (FULL ARTICLE: READ HOW THIS IS PUTTING LIVES AT RISK)
  • US President Donald Trump has accused WHO for failing in its basic duty in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  As a result he is going to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).  He accused WHO of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus after it broke out in China, and said it must be held accountable.
  • Children up to the age of 11 are returning to nurseries and schools across Denmark, as the government becomes the first in Europe to relax coronavirus restrictions on education.
  • France expects the G-20 to give African Nations a moratorium on debts due to the COVID-19.  However, pro-African voices have called for total cancellation.
  • IMF to provide US$11 billion to 32 African states in the fight for COVID-19
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday that it expects the coronavirus crisis to erase almost a decade of oil demand growth in 2020
  • China is trying to exploit the global crisis triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak by wresting control of companies such as Imagination Technologies and changing the way the internet works, a senior British lawmaker said on Wednesday.
  • US airlines to get billions in aid, It will help in the over US$300 billion estimated losses for the airline industry
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES on Ghana Business News

14 April 2020; COVID-19 Business Updates, Ghana’s cases at 566, 58 staff at Begoro Government Hospital quarantined, China records new Coronavirus cases

  • Ghana’s cases 566, 4 recovered, 8 deaths. Global cases 1.9 million, 120,875 deaths, 459,147 recoveries
  • The highest age bracket infections are the 35-44.  Males have often been more affected than females except the under 15 and over 60
  • Fifty–eight (58) staff of the Begoro Government Hospital in the Eastern Region have been quarantined for having contact with a patient who tested positive for Coronavirus.
  • The Executive Board of the IMF has approved Ghana’s US$1 billion credit facility under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to help augment fiscal and balance of payment needs created by the Coronavirus pandemic (READ MORE)
  • Government has directed Cabinet to commence work on coming out with a broader and more comprehensive stimulus package to invigorate economy negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • In respect of the ongoing xenophobic developments against Africans in China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has urged all Ghanaian nationals living in China, especially Guangdong Province to remain calm and stay in touch with Ghana’s Mission in Beijing and the Consulate – General in Guangzhou.
  • The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has announced its collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in rolling out a Business Tracker, which is an online survey targeting businesses with the aim of assessing the socio-economic impact of Coronavirus in Ghana.
  • The police and military were giving no chance for stray or stubborn revellers who may want to defy the presidential lockdown and social distancing orders to have fun at some beaches in Accra.
  • As fears of a global recession and shortage of food and other essential goods grow, the Ghana Maritime Authority says there is no noticeable reduction in cargo vessel traffic to the country yet.
  • China has reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases (108) in nearly six weeks.
  • The death rate in Italy, Spain and France – three of the countries worst-affected by the coronavirus – appears to be slowing.
  • New York state’s death toll tops 10,000, total deaths in US topping the world at just above 25,000
  • Russia records its highest daily jump in coronavirus cases with 2,558 new infections. 
  • Globally, more than 118,000 people have died while more than 446,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Turkey to free thousands of prisoners due to coronavirus pandemic.  Some 45,000 to be freed until end of May, but politicians, journalists, critics jailed after 2016 coup not included.
  • Some 1.92 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 119,500 have died, while nearly 450,000 have recovered. 
  • Taiwan reported no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time in more than a month, in the latest sign that the island’s early and effective prevention methods have paid off.
  • Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger demand would plunge by over 90 percent in April.  March saw 52 percent plunge as the coronavirus stops people from travelling
  • World Health Organization officials said not all people who recover from the coronavirus have the antibodies to fight a second infection.  This raises concerns that patients don’t develop immunity after surviving COVID-19.
  • More on COVID-19 Business Updates on Ghana Business Bews

13 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: Ghana’s detected Coronavirus cases at 566, Day 15 of partial lockdown, Lockdowns extended

  • 13 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: Ghana’s detected Coronavirus cases now at 566, Day 15 of partial lockdown, Lockdown extended
  • Ghana’s cases now at 566 (Ghana Health Service)
  • Public gatherings extended further for two weeks, partial lockdown extended for one more week
  • Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and a rising number of cases in Ghana, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed that 66.6 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases between March and April have had no history of travel while 33.4 percent, have had some travel history.
  • The Accra Regional Police Command yesterday arrested 29 persons in a mosque at Nyamekye Darkuman in Accra for breaching the social distancing protocol.  According to the Command’s spokeswoman, Efia Tenge, the suspects said they had assembled for an Islamic marriage activity but were overwhelmed by the number of persons who turned up.
  • African Development Bank throws a challenge for ideas to fight COVID-19
  • With over half a thousand recorded cases, Ghana tops the list of West African countries with the highest COVID-19 status.  The country’s health service on Sunday confirmed 158 new cases that were detected over the weekend.  The country has so far recorded eight deaths from the 566 cases with only four recoveries, according to officials.
  • China has begun battling a resurgence of the coronavirus. China’s northeastern border with Russia has become a frontline in the fight against a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic as new daily cases rose to the highest in nearly six weeks – with more than 90% involving people coming from abroad.
  • Spain has started to ease tough coronavirus lockdown restrictions that have kept people confined to their homes for more than a month and put a brake on economic activity.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will follow medical advice on when he should return to work, his spokesman said on Monday, declining to speculate on how long his full recovery from the coronavirus might take.
  • Seventy medical practitioners and supporting staff have been trained in risk communication and public health education on COVID-19.  It was organised by Vodafone Ghana Foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
  • The justice minister of Somalia’s autonomous Hirshabelle state, Khalif Mumin Tohow, has died after contracting the Novel Coronavirus, the second recorded death in the country.
  • Sources have told DGN Online that some 15 Indians have contracted coronavirus in the Eastern Region.  According to our sources, the Indians are being kept at a camp in the region. 
  • These countries that have not yet reported any case of coronavirus; Comoros, Kiribati, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES on Ghana Business News
  • 12 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: The African Development Bank and its partners call for ideas to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Ghana’s coronavirus case tally  comes to 408, 4 recoveries, 8 deaths
  • The worldwide death toll is now over 102,000, with the number of infections worldwide topping 1.7 million. About 376,000 patients have recovered.  Meanwhile, Spain has recorded an 18-day low of 510 and bringing their total deaths to 16,353
  • Why Ghanaians should not be alarmed at the number of cases: Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said, the numbers are so “because we are aggressively going out there in search of the virus, we will find these numbers. The more numbers we find, the better we are for the Ghana Health Service to provide them with care for the sick.”
  • The African Development Bank and partners are set to host an online #AfricaVsVirus Challenge from 16 to 19 April 2020. The 72-hour competition is a global hackathon – or “ideathon” – to develop effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The United States now has now overtaken Italy to have the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world.The latest data, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, shows more than 20,000 people in the US have now died.The grim milestone comes shortly after the US became the first nation to record more than 2,000 virus deaths in a single day. BBC
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has condemned what she describes as the “ill-treatment and racial discrimination” of Ghanaians and other African nationals in China in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The minister has also summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang. There have been reports of Ghanaians being discriminated against amid the Coronavirus outbreak in China.
  • The Chiefs and people of Brafoyaw, a community in the Central Region, have kicked against the use of Aggrey Memorial Zion Senior High School as an isolation camp for COVID-19 patients. According to the community, using the school as a facility for COVID-19 patients will endanger the lives of the people living in the community.
  • Police at Obuasi have picked up 49 persons, including a groom and his bride, for flouting the ban on social gathering protocols during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The groom, Philip Ahenekwa, aged 35, and the bride, Ama Frema, aged 40, and the other persons are currently in police custody. They were arrested by the COVID-19 taskforce at Akaporiso in the Obuasi East District of the Ashanti Region while they were holding the wedding ceremony.
  • Tunisia may impose exceptional taxes on companies if the government does not find the funds needed during the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said on Thursday, a move that might open a clash with the private sector. Aljazeera.com
  • Ghana is becoming a member of the ranks of countries eyeing the launch of a central financial institution foreign digital currency. The governor of the West African nation’s central financial institution, Ernest Addison, stated Tuesday that Ghana may situation a digital type of the nation’s foreign money, the cedi, in the “close to future” and is in talks to develop a pilot venture in a “sandbox surroundings.” Sunriseread.com
  • Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, the Rector of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in the early hours of Friday succumbed to complications from Coronavirus, at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, where he had been on a short admission. Dr Justice Yankson, the General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, (GMA) confirming the news of his demise to the media, however, explained that Prof Plange-Rhule had an underlying medical condition.
  • Eight (8) out of sixteen (16) regions of the country have recorded coronavirus cases after the national case count hit 408. Regions that have reported cases are Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Northern, North East, Upper East and Upper West.
  • The Ghana COCOBOD has downplayed suggestions that the producer price of cocoa may fall due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. COCOBOD in 2019 increased the producer price of the beans from GH¢7,640 to GH¢8,240 per tonne. With the global fight against COVID-19, most international trading commodities have seen plummeting prices with cocoa also being affected.
  • More on COVID-19 Business updates on Ghana Business News
  • 08 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: 10th day of Coronavirus lockdown, Ghana’s cases at 287, Wuhan off the lockdown, US records highest deaths in the last 24 hours
  • Ghana’s COVID-19 cases now stands at 287, 3 recoveries, 49 home management, 2 moderately ill
  • Ghana’s economy is expected to experience its slowest growth, of 1.5%, in about four decades – making it the worst year since the historic 1983 economic retrogression.  The Minister of Finance predicted a 2.6% growth instead of the projected 6.8%, if the disease breaks out in Ghana. Growth would further slide to 1.5% if there is a partial lockdown for a long time.  The results of about 15,000 tests would determine whether Ghana gets into the second scenario.
  • Ghana’s cocoa revenue will experience a shortfall of US$1 billion as the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a decline in cocoa price on the world market. (Read Full Story)
  • The Ghana Association of Bankers (GBA) released an official statement on 06 April that 23 universal banks are reducing their lending rates on both current and imminent loans by 2 percent.  Banks are already receiving a high number of loan restructuring modalities and requests. 
  • Check the industry potential biggest winners and losers from COVID-19 situation (Open Infographic)
  • A new report published by the African Union states that the COVID-19 disruption of the world economy in many African countries will cause the continent to lose a whopping US$270 billion in value and average GDP growth to decline to -0.9 percent from 3.4 percent projected for the year 2020.
  • Standard Chartered has announced that it will commit US$1 billion of financing for companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against COVID-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic.
  • The Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund has distributed over 60,000 packs of food to head porters, popularly known as ‘kayayei’ within six days of the inception of its ‘Feed-a-kayayo’ project.
  • US coronavirus cases top 400,000; Spain’s death toll rises above 14,500
  • The US recorded the most coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours where more than 1,800 fatalities reported on Tuesday, 07 April.  According to data from John Hopkins University, the total deaths is about 13,000.
  • Iran’s death toll passes 4,000 with 121 in the last 24 hrs
  • The 11-week lockdown of Wuhan, the COVID-19 source, has ended.  After 76 days the highway tolls have reopened, and flights and train services are once again leaving the city.  It has been the most extensive quarantine restrictions on the planet so far.
  • Tech companies continue to rake in on the Coronavirus pandemic, Netflix downloads jumps by 66%, Microsoft team sees 34% jump while Zoom, that has gained the most popularity in this period, has gained a current value of US$44 billion, being the value of four airlines combined – Aljazeera
  • VW reviews its US$3.6 billion dividend payout due to virus disruption
  • Uber expands its options for companies to deliver food to staff
  • WhatsApp is trying to stem the rapid spread of Coronavirus misinformation by placing new limits on the number of times a forwarded message can be shared simultaneously.  A message received by a person on the Facebook (FB)-owned platform that has already been forwarded five times can now only be passed on to one chat at a time.  Aljazeera
  • General Motors secure US$500 million to manufacture ventilators – Bloomberg
  •  U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spent a second night in an intensive care unit in hospital, but his condition is stable, according to officials.
  • It is expected that there will be a “significant rebound” in the aviation industry once borders start to open up.  Experts believe industry could restart in the second part of the second quarter, towards the end of May or early June. 
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES on Ghana Business News

 

  • 07 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: 9th day of Coronavirus lockdown, 73 more cases identified,
  • Ghana’s COVID-19 cases now stands at 287
  • The Minister of Communication has disclosed that, tests carried out on 7,461 out of the 15,384 persons identified through contact tracing have14 testing positive for coronavirus. This translates to 0.81%.
  • Age statistics of COVID-19 cases: persons between the ages of 25-34 are the age group with the highest confirmed cases in Ghana, 45-59 come in second place followed by 35-44. Persons between the ages of 15-25 come last as the age group with the least confirmed cases in Ghana. This is according to the Ghana Health Service.
  • The Kumasi Metropolitan Security Council (METSEC) has ordered an interim closure of the Kumasi Central Market.  The order which takes effects today, Tuesday, April 7, follows reports that traders have been “blatantly disregarding the WHO’s social distancing protocols in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic“.
  • Ghana’s cocoa revenue will experience a shortfall of $1 billion as the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a decline in cocoa price on the world market.
  • The outbreak, the Ghana COCOBOD says, has also stalled the current syndication process for loan facilities for the 2020/2021 crop season.
  • Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Hon Cynthia Mamle Morrison has refuted claims that head porters popularly known as Kayayei will be enjoying some monetary benefits from the government.
  • Government has revised method used in the distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.  Per the new arrangement, local food sellers in designated localities are going to be resourced to enable them cook food and give them out freely to residents in the various communities.
  • The Minister for Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu says some five local companies have been tasked to produce some 3.6 million face masks for the public and health workers as well.
  • Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance, Ken Thompson has announced a zero percent interest on loans to all clients on the company’s DalexSwift Investment platform from now to end of June.
  • Police personnel enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown in the Awutu Senya West District of the Central Region on Tuesday boycotted food that was served them by the police administration.  There are widespread sentiments of the police not being happy with their meals and prefer to take the initially promised GHS100 a day allowance.
  • A director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Amansie Central District of Ashanti has been arrested for allegedly producing and selling fake hand sanitisers.  Joyce Frimpong was arrested last Friday, April 3 in connection with case.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “in good spirits” after spending the night in intensive care being treated for coronavirus, No 10 has said.  Mr Johnson, 55, was stable overnight, is being given oxygen and is not on a ventilator, a spokesman added.
  • Authorities in Paris have banned exercise outside during the day, as the fight against the coronavirus outbreak continues.  The new rules are in force between 10:00 and 19:00 local time, and come into effect on Wednesday.  France has one of the highest death tolls in the world with about 100,000 cased and 8,900 deaths (8.9%).
  • Stark statistics from Chicago health officials have underscored the heavy toll of coronavirus on black Americans.  Black Chicagoans account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up 30% of the population.
  • Many Italian companies and academics are pressing the government to reopen factories to prevent an economic catastrophe, as the world watches how the first Western country to impose a lockdown can extricate itself from the unprecedented measures.
  •  European shares rallied for a second straight day on Tuesday with investors focusing on early signs that the coronavirus pandemic may be easing, even as major companies took steps to shore up cash
  • COVID-19 Business updates for 07 April 2020

 

  • 06 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES: 8th day of coronavirus lockdown, Water bill off for 3 months, More social interventions
  • Ghana’s confirmed cases are 214.  Ghana has confirmed nine additional COVID-19 cases; six from Greater Accra and three from Ashanti region.
  • Global cases of 1.25 million with 65,000 deaths translating to 5.2% death rate
  • Government of Ghana has said it will absorb the water bills for all Ghanaians for a period of three months and also ensure that they get constant supply of water, an essential commodity for the prevention of coronavirus in Ghana
  • The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a number of social interventions for the vulnerable in the Ghanaian society.
  • Government has received a total amount of GH₵8.75 million as donations to the COVID-19 Fund announced a week ago by the President.
  • President Nana Akuffo Addo said in his latest address that the government is actively engaged with local manufacturing companies to assist them in the domestic production of PPEs, and “I am encouraged by the response from the Ghanaian private sector.” he said.
  • In view of this, some staff of the Ghana Christian International High School located on the Afienya-Dodowa Road, owned by Prof. Stephen Adei, have been laid off.
  • A Guinean woman who escaped from her quarantine centre in Tamale after testing positive for coronavirus has been nabbed in Accra.  According to the Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Abban the woman was spotted in Accra and arrested this week.
  • Boris Johnson in hospital but still in charge
  • Spain’s death rate on the 4th day decline
  • Chief Medical Officer of Scotland Catherine Jane Calderwood, resigns after seen breaching lockdown rules
  • Japan to declare a state of emergency
  • Austria to ease lockdown restrictions
  • Tiger in US zoo tests positive for coronavirus
  • 36-yr old UK nurse dies
  • OECD estimates 2% slash off GDP of OECD countries for every single month the Coronavirus continues to gender restrictions
  • Countries spending trillions to curb coronavirus – OECD
  • Charity in UK, Women in Need, reports 25% rise of support request in within the lockdown period.  Other countries, Austria, Australia and France have reported searches for such support going as far as 75% for Australia
  • Russia reports 946 new cases within the last 24 hours
  • World stock markets jumped on Monday, encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new cases, though a delay in talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut supply sent oil tumbling again
  • 04 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES, 6th day of coronavirus lockdown, Gov’t may not extend lockdown, 3rd health worker infected in Ghana, Hopeful news for Italy
  • The government of Ghana may not extend the 14-day partial lockdown, Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has revealed. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has further extended the closure of Ghana’s borders by an additional two-week period effective midnight on Sunday, 05 April 2020
  • Ghana has recorded another case of a health worker; a nurse, testing positive of the deadly COVID-19.
  • The nurse who works at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital tested positive for the novel coronavirus
  • Nurses at the Accident and Emergency Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital will on Monday submit letters to their superiors making known their decision to stay home as a result of coronavirus and the fact that one of their own has contracted the virus
  • Director General of Ghana Health Service has alerted that 951 individuals who were quarantined after travelling into the country from 17 March, would be released to go home after testing negative. They should all be released by end of Sunday, 05 April 2020
  • Some citizens from UK and some EU countries have been safely repatriated to their various home countries amidst the scourge of the coronavirus. The BA arranged for chartered flights to carry her citizens who needed to return
  • Former President John Mahama has said the health facilities and infrastructure he built during his time in office, have become indispensable to Ghana’s fight against COVID-19. A tweet by the Head of WHO has commended ex-president Mahama for his work in health provision
  • Police has gone a step further in enforcing the lockdown by educating all public transport drivers who used the Lapaz-N1 Highway and ensuring they were wearing PPEs. They gifted PPEs to those who didn’t have.
  • Kempinski Hotel takes a hit: Management of the plush Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra is to lay off about 85% of staff as the novel Coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on their business. They are letting 340 of 400 staff go (ghanaweb)
  • Hopeful news for Italy; The number of patients in intensive care because of coronavirus in Italy has dropped for the first time, says the head of the country’s civil protection division.
  • The International Monetary Fund has warned that Zimbabwe needs urgent aid as the coronavirus exacerbates the impact a food shortage following the worst drought in nearly four decades.
  • In Europe, while Italy and Spain are the worst hit countries with over 100,000 cases each, as of Friday, Germany has recorded 84,794 confirmed cases but has witnessed just 1,107 deaths,
  • The IMF says the pandemic has stalled the global economy, causing a recession worse than 2008
  • US President Trump rejects his own experts’ advice on wearing a face mask
  • Oil rose on Friday as traders eyed a possible deal on production cuts after President Donald Trump said he expected a deal of at least a 10 million barrel production cut to soon be announced, and after Saudi Arabia called an “urgent” meeting for OPEC (cnbc)
  • New York state’s death roll increases by a record 630 in last 24 hours with the number of infections going past 113,700
  • The U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, abruptly ending a historic 113 straight months of employment growth as stringent measures to control the novel coronavirus outbreak shuttered businesses and factories, confirming a recession is underway.
  • The United Nations’ experts have alerted that an outbreak of the coronavirus in Libya could be “truly catastrophic” for the internally displaced people (IDP) and close to 700,000 refugees and migrants in the war-torn country,
  • 03 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES; 5th day of Ghana’s lockdown, Offenders could be imprisoned or fined GHS12,000 – GHS60,000, 5 hotspots identified in Kumasi
  • Reduce utility tariffs by 65%; The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG) has appealed to the government to reduce electricity and water tariffs by at least 65 percent. It has also called for the suspension of the Tourism Levy of one percent and the use of current reserves in the fund the levy finances, to support a bailout of hotels.
  • Global cases have passed 1 million with death passing 53,000
  • Officially, Italy remain highest in both infection and death with 110,574 cases and 13,155 deaths followed by Spain with 110,238 cases and 10,003 deaths
  • Ghana’s cases now at 204, 4 have no travel case and no contact with any traveler, 3 recovered, 28 recovering, 49 being managed at home.
  • Lockdown offenders could face imprisonment or be fined GHS12,000 to GHS60,000. This has emerged following the public’s disapproval of how security agencies mete out instant justice to the offender. ACP Lydia Donkor, Director, Legal and Prosecution of the Ghana Police Service, has advised the public to adhere to the president’s directive to avoid the legal sanctions.
  • The police may follow individuals to their claimed destinations if they are not convinced
  • The Keta Municipal Assembly has quarantined six persons including a cook of a Korean Fishing Vessel and five local fishermen over a COVID-19 scare. Following a misunderstanding between the cook and the crew, they threw him overboard in the sea. The cook was rescued by the five local fishermen who have also been quarantined.
  • US$35 million approved by parliament to fight COVID 19, with US$700,000 earmarked for vulnerable groups.
  • Residents of Baastonaa in Accra have rejected the gesture by Rev. Titi Ofei to offer his 100-bed facility to be used as an isolation center. Hon Carlos Ahenkora, the MP of the local area has however explained that the facility would be used to house health personnel and not suspected cases
  • Five communities in Kumasi have been identified as a COVID-19 hotspot
  • Global markets jump slightly on the back of 10.63% jump in global oil prices on the back of Trump’s announcement that Saudi Arabia and Russia could cut production
  • The global cost of the pandemic could be as high as $4.1 trillion, the Asian Development Bank said.
  • Companies globally are being forced to lay off workers. Walt Disney has placed workers on unpaid furlough from 19 April
  • Fuel prices further go down, GOIL now sells at 4.34ghs per liter
  • This is Aviation’s darkest hour ever. The director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says described the coronavirus crisis is the biggest the industry has ever faced as the group published figures showing a 14% drop in air traffic demand in February, the steepest decline since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It could worsen in coming months
  • Former Somalia Prime Minister, Nur Hassan Hussein, dies in London from coronavirus aged 83.  Former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango reportedly died of coronavirus infection
  • More of Covid-19 business updates to follow in the day
  • 02 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE; 4th day of the locked down, GUTA calling for 6-month moratorium in loan repayment.
  • Ghana’s cases stand at 195 confirmed cases, 5 deaths, 3 fully recovered and 49 under home management
  • The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says it is highly disappointed in banks in Ghana after they refused to grant its member loan payment deferment amidst a global coronavirus economics crisis. GUTA has requested that banks allow for loan repayments to be deferred for six months
  • The Ministry of Health has begun employment of all 2017/18 batch of nursing trainees into various health facilities across the country in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It may be recalled that some of these year groups have been calling on the government for their permanent postings.
  • The International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), headed by Pastor Mensa Otabil, has made a contribution of one hundred thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc100,000.00) to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
  • The Institute for Energy Security (IES) has described as a wholesale theft of the prospects of generations to come, as the government wants to withdraw from Ghana’s Heritage Fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Institute further added that the move would be seen as an assault on the well-being of future generations. The Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas in Ghana (CSPOG) has expressed similar sentiments.
  • The Northern Regional Security Council has placed a ban on the activities of commercial sex workers in the region. In a letter signed by the Chairman of the REGSEC is in respect of the ten confirmed cases in Tamale
  • Nine members of Uganda’s famous children’s choir are in a stable condition after testing positive. The group was on tour in the U.S and Canada two weeks ago.
  • President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo has declared a three-month “state of emergency” and curfew aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus. Togo has a population of eight million and has so far recorded 36 confirmed infections and two deaths from the disease.
  • According to Reuters, the American death toll from COVID-19 shot up by 925 to more than 4,800 nationwide, with 214,000 confirmed cases. More states are now embarking on the lockdown. Already the American health authorities have projected that some 100,000 to 240,000 deaths even with lockdowns
  • British Airways which has already grounded much of its fleet due to the coronavirus crisis has reached a deal with the union to suspend up to 80% of staff. This includes cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those working at head office who will have their jobs suspended but no staff is expected to be made redundant. The two sides have reached a broad deal but are yet to sign on some details.
  • Oil prices are seeing their biggest gains in two weeks this morning with Brenjumping by 10.63% to US$27.37
  • There is a small stimulus for the Italian economy as Germany orders 200 tonnes of Italian pasta
  • Kenya Airways Plc. is appealing for a cash bailout from the government to be able to survive the next six months as the partially state-owned carrier runs out of money after grounding all international flights to help contain the coronavirus.
  • 01 April 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE, Ghana’s cases now 195, 3rd day of partial locked down, Top South African HIV scientist dies, Spain deaths hit 9000
    • Ghana’s cases now stands as 195, 5 deaths, 3 recoveries and 46 under home management
    • Ghana enters day 3 of lockdown with some reported brutalities from security personnel
    • The Minister of Health has denounced earlier reports of mandatory testing for Covid-19 in certain areas.
    • The Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas in Ghana (CSPOG) has strongly advised the government not to touch the Heritage Fund.  The group has urged the government to look for other measures which are easily available.  They continued that much as fighting the pandemic well is crucial to the nation, the probability of wastage of the funds is high looking at our history.
    • The CSPOG group in the same statement welcomed the pledge by the executive (Ministers, Deputies, and other political appointees) to contribute their three months’ salary to the fight against the epidemic. 
    • Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Mrs Georgina Morrison, has said government will provide food and shelter for 10,435 Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) during the two-week partial lockdown.  Additionally government would provide for about 1500 kakayeis
    • Burundi and Sierra Leone, which were part of a handful of African countries yet to confirm cases of the coronavirus, have recorded their first positive results
    • Bostwana reports its first death
    • Top South African HIV scientist Prof Gita Ramjee dies from coronavirus in Durban, South Africa
    • Foreign banks bow to pressure to axe shareholder payments
    • Global oil prices nears US$20
    • Spain’s coronavirus death passes 9,000
    • US Whitehouse says virus could kill 100k – 240k Americans
    • World’s biggest oil producers would meet on market crash
  • 31 MARCH 2020; COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES; Spain’s deadliest day yet, Divorce filings soar in China, Fuel prices estimated to slump by 24%, …
    • Zoom Communications Inc has taken the lead over Microsoft teams in terms of patronage in video conferencing platforms. Zoom’s number have shot up three times more during this Covid-19 outbreak
    • Having set a benchmark of US$58.66 oil price per barrel until the end of 2020, Ghana’s projected oil revenue is set to take a hit, with analysts already predicting the country will get half its projected revenue at an average US$23 per barrel in these times. Nigeria and Ghana would be hardest hit in Africa in oil price slumps. Senegal, Cameroon and Angola would also record losses
    • Government has announced that 109 markets in the Northern Region will be disinfected on Thursday April 2, 2020.
    • US has recorded 3,415 death cases with New York still being the hardest hit. Meanwhile President Trump has revised the end of the lockdown from Easter to end of April. 75% of all Americans are currently under some form of lockdown.
    • The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu has disclosed that 3 persons out of Ghana’s 161 active cases of coronavirus infections have tested negative after going through periods of management in isolation. However another 31 have responded to treatment, recovered from symptoms and have been discharged from the hospital to be managed at home
    • One of 10 Guineans quarantined in Tamale has abscounded. There are reports of his recapture but that is yet to be confirmed
    • A further 393 people with coronavirus have died in the UK – the biggest daily total so far
    • There have been more than 800,000 cases worldwide, with 38,000 dead; 170,000 have recovered. Death rate is 4.75% while recovery rate stands at 21.25%.
    • Some European countries have rejected Chinese equipment meant for fighting the Coronavirus. Countries like Spain and Netherlands have labeled the equipment as sub-standard and defective
    • More Covid-19 cases may be detected in Ghana; Minister of Information
    • Spain records highest number of fatalities; 849 deaths in the last 24 hours. Looks like the deadliest day yet
    • Compliance to lockdown in the affected areas seem to be working with security agencies enforcing the directives.
    • About 3 billion of the world’s population are staying at home (bbc.com)
    • Fraudsters have taken advantage of Ghana’s lockdown and robbing the market traders of their wares. Asafo market in Kumasi has already reported of robbery of their foodstuffs. Online fraud is also expected of rise in these times.
    • Market traders have been idle as there are very little buyers, however, this is expected to change towards the end of the week as domestic food supplies begin to dwindle
    • Ghana’s economy may slide into recession due to the Coronavirus outbreak; Professor Peter Quartey
    • About 25% of foreign investors have disinvested their local bonds. This is expected to put more pressure on the dollar demand. However the Minister of Finance has aluded that the recent US$3 billion could add to save the day
    • The Institute for Energy Security (IES) is forecasting between 16 and 24% drop in prices of fuel on the local market in the first Pricing-window for April 2020. World oil prices have declined Brent Crude has declined by 33% leading decline of prices of petrol by 51.29% and diesel by 27.96% on the international market
    • Half a million workers in Germany have applied for one aid or another due to the Covid-19 lockdown
    • The World Bank has advised that the ‘Poor will get Poorer’ as economic gains made in 2019 would all be wiped out
    • The Asia Pacific region may see a 2.1% growth of the economy. China may only see 2.3% growth in 2020 as opposed to 6.1% in 2019. This is a situation of ‘economic pain’ according to the world bank
    • Signapore is set to punish firms that do not offer home-work facility for staff during this Covid-19 period
    • Divorce filings in China soars during the quarantine but Russia bans divorce in these times making it tough for couples without love but are in quarantine in the virus outbreak.
    • American Airlines, one of the world’s richest carriers, says it will apply for $1
  • 30 March 2020 COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES
    • Global online retail giant, Amazon, has staff embarking on a strike at their New York site. They are requesting to be sent home. Amazon has responded saying they have taken all measures to protect their staff
    • Ghana has been named among 5 other countries to possibly face debt distress due to the virus outbreak. The current debt burden coupled with the slump in oil revenues are the factors. The minority in opposition disgrees with the proposal.
    • Ghana’s parliament debate on whether to ‘dip their hands’ to the Heritage Funds to fight COVID 19.
    • The UN suggests that the Coronavirus pandemic could cost Africa US$200 million and 50% of jobs could be lost
    • The Finance Minister has announced that Ghana would lose GHS5.7 Million in petroleum revenue due to the Coronavirus pandemic. GNPC would receive GHS642 Million less than what was originally ecpected
    • Partial lockdown of some Ghanaian cities starts today. Military and other security agencies engaged to ensure compliance
    • The Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, is calling on banks and the other financial institution to provide stimulus packages to businesses in the country. This is as a result of the covid-19 pandemic which is hitting businesses hard.
    • Johnson & Johnson stock climbed 8% after the company said human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will begin by September and it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.
    • International oil prices have fallen into an 18-year low, US$22.7 per barrel for the WTI Crude
    • The tourism industry continues to reel under the searing heat of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • It has emerged that Virgin Atlantic is expected to seek a bail out worth hundreds of millions of pounds from the British government. Other Airlines may also follow suit.
    • There are now more than 730,000 infections globally and almost 35,000 deaths bringing mortality rate to about 4.7%
    • Spain has reported 812 new deaths, taking the national total to 7,340
    • New dates for the Tokyo Olympics have been announced: 23 July to 8 August 2021. Olympic games should have been held in June – July 2020 but has been postponed to the newly announces dates
  • 29 March 2020: COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES
    • Indian Prime Minister apologises to the Indian people for the hardships the sweeping lockdown has caused them
    • Panic buying of food, LPG Gas and intense intra-city vehicular traffic characterises the last day before the 14-day partial lockdown in Ghana
  • 23 March 2020; COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES
    • Ghana markets disinfected on Monday, 23 March 2020 – Local markets Makola, Okaishie, Abossey Okai, Kumasi central markets and all markets in Ghana were closed down and sprayed
    • 400 workers of airlines in Ghana to be laid off
    • IATA says global airline industry could lose USD$252 million in 2020 due to pandemic and global industry would need about USD$200 million liquidity support
  • UK has announced GBP330 million to support small businesses.  Help would include salaries to workers
  • Burger King chief executive Alasdair Murdoch has said that the fast food chain will not be paying rent due on its UK restaurants this week.  Hundreds of High Street businesses are set to withhold their quarterly rent payments, which are due on Wednesday, so they can afford to pay their staff.£
  •  25 March: US Congress reached a late night stimulus deal of US$2 trillion to be pumped into the US economy.  However, markets are still fading.  Asian markets continued the rally that was set in motion by yesterday’s record-breaking gains in the U.S., but the optimism flamed out as early gains turned to losses in European markets and U.S. futures.
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES
COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES, Coronavirus, ghanatalksbusiness.com

 Important: Covid-19 Update
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