Thousands of individuals and organizations, including the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey (alias Accra Commando), the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Director General of the Ghana Health Services, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye have been honored by the State for their excellence, creativity, innovation and hard work.
These individuals and organisations were nominated by the State for various rewards for the sacrifices they made to help the state fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of the over 20,000 that were honoured, 19,557 were frontline health workers across the country.
However, a few were made to receive their honors at the Accra International Conference Centre, whilst the majority would be honored at their various districts.
Other awardees were manufacturers of hand sanitisers and personal protective equipment, donors to COVID-19 national trust fund (GH₡1 million and above), the COVID-19 national taskforce and international partners.
Nominees for the COVID-19 National Taskforce were Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Dr. Nsiah-Asare, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, Dr. Kwame Amponsah-Achiano, Dr. Badu Sarkodie and Prof. William Ampofo.
The rest were; Mrs. Delese Mimi Darko, Dr. Da-Costa Aboagye, Prof. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Mr. Henry Quartey, Dr. Benard Okoe-Boye, Miss Emma Lilian Bruce-Lyle, Mr. Joshua Yaw Kyeremeh and Miss Elizabeth Akua Ohene.
Nominees for the Trustees of the COVID-19 private sector fund were; Mr. Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, Mr. Edward Effah, Mr. Senyo Kwasi Hosi, Mr. Kwaku Bediako, Mr. Daniel Nii Kwei-Kumah Sackey and Mr. John Eric K. Taylor among others.
The inventor of the famous Veronica Bucket, Mrs. Veronica Bekoe, was also awarded, as well as media personality, Umaru Sanda.
Whereas some awardees received certificate and plaques, others were honored with the Order of the Volta – Companion, made up of a medal and a sash.
The insignia consists of a medal which is a seven-pointed star 45 mm in diameter suspended on a ring and worn with a ribbon collar, together with a sash, a pendant and a rosette.
Some received the grand medals, which is an overall medal in silver with a size of 38mm high, 33mm wide, a ribbon of 32 mm wide, a blue background, a 3mm black and 3mm white stripe in the centre and 3mm red at the ends.
The atmosphere at the Accra International Conference Centre, the venue where the ceremony was held, was very joyous as families and friends of the awardees cheered them up.
The enthusiasm with which guests carried themselves throughout the over three hours event gave a true meaning to the brain behind the event.
Amongst the guests were the Vice President, Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia, the Chief of Staff, Madam Fremah Osei Opare, the Inspector General of Police, Dr Akuffo Dampare, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, as well as the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party and the General Secretary.
The music from the ever-green Winneba Youth Choir refreshed the moods of the guest, interspersed with tunes from the Ghana Police Central Band.
The President, in an address, which preceded the presentation of the awards, said the honors were purely a national event, devoid of partisan, ethnic or religious considerations.
He stated that it was organised solely for the recipients whose work and contribution had benefited the country.
The president recounted the difficult times and the comprehensive strategy the government adopted to secure the priority, health and safety of the Ghanaian.
He said the country was in serious times when “we were restrained from shaking hands with one another, keep a distance from one another and put up with the discomfort anytime we left our homes”.
Stating why the awardees needed to be honored, President Akufo-Addo spoke about the necessary three-week lockdown and the need to support small and individual businesses, shutting down and opening some schools at various intervals, the procurement of PPE and relief for health workers in the form of tax waivers, allowances and COVID insurance.