On Sunday the 16th of August 2020, during the 15th nation’s address on Covid -19 by His Excellency the President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo from the Jubilee House in Accra, he stated categorically that cinemas, pubs, nightclubs and beaches were to remain closed until further notice. But, he also added that certain indoor events like conferences, religious gatherings can be organized with no restriction on the number of people; once the usually required protocols were active. However, the President made one new insertion with regards to indoor events stating that ‘fresh air ventilation’ of the premises was also key. This has drawn the attention of some film critics and stakeholders on the ability of cinemas to provide fresh air ventilation to their audience.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo was very clear on the subject of certain indoor entertainment facilities like cinemas amid the Coronavirus crisis. “Over the past few weeks, the cap on the number of people going to churches and Mosques has been lifted; obeying strict social distancing….There will be no mass gatherings and sporting activities; religious activities under the new protocol will be permitted….. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, are still to remain closed until further notice. The limit on the number of person’s who can attend conferences, workshops and award events has now been lifted; subject to maintenance of social distancing among participants, fresh air ventilation of the premises, and a 2 hour limit for each session”, he said.
The President’s mention of the need for ‘fresh air ventilation’ has been cited as a logical explanation for the closure of cinemas in Ghana by some stakeholders of the film industry. The only weekly cinema service provider in Ghana ‘Silverbird Cinemas’, which has state of the art cinema halls, but also an air conditioning system and an architectural design that makes it look almost impossible to have fresh air ventilation going through the halls during showings. It is for this reason that some filmmakers in Ghana are siding with the President on the decision to keep the cinemas closed until proper measures are put in place to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus among patrons.
As at 15th August 2020, Ghana’s active Cororavirua cases stood at 1,847 which is a drop in the total number of cases reported in previous weeks. The President said that this was a clear indication the Government’s policies and strategies on combating the virus were indeed effective.
By Jerry Wonder