As Ghana continues to grapple with the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government says regulatory bodies will begin random checks at public spaces and workplaces to assess the level of compliance with the safety protocols.
Facilities that breach the protocols risk being shut down and punished.
President Akufo-Addo who announced this said the checks if carried through will reduce the spread of the virus among the population.
“Persons in marketplaces, workplaces, and operators of public transport must conduct their activities in accordance with the hygiene and safety protocols. The wearing of masks in these places is mandatory. Regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure conformity with COVID-19 rules. Should any facility or institution fail to comply with these directives, its activities will be immediately prohibited, and appropriate sanctions applied,” Nana Akufo-Addo said during his COVID-19 update on Sunday, January 17, 2021.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh, to strictly enforce the mandatory wearing of nose masks among the populace as the nation continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I have instructed the Inspector General of Police to direct officers, men, and women of the Police Service to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask-wearing at all public places and in public transport,” he said.
The police are also to also crack the whip on business owners who continue to illegally operate pubs, beaches and cinemas, despite the restriction to have them closed over the outbreak.
“They are also to ensure the closure of all nightclubs, pubs, cinemas, and beaches that may be operating in defiance of the law. They will be assisted by the other security agencies if need be,” Nana Akufo-Addo stated.
According to Akufo-Addo, the directive is hinged on his presidential oath to “dedicate myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana, and to do right to all manner of persons”, hence his commitment to protect lives and livelihoods.
He further reminded all Ghanaians that severe punishments exist on our statute books for persons breaking the law on the mandatory wearing of masks.
“Should anyone be arrested by the security agencies disregarding this directive, that person will be dealt with strictly in accordance with the law”, he cautioned.
Nana Addo threatens to reintroduce restrictions
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has said the government may be forced to reintroduce restrictions including a partial lockdown if Ghana’s COVID-19 cases continually increase.
He said, although the government is against the idea of a partial lockdown due to its negative impact on the economy, it might resort to that if the rate of spread increases.
“We do not want to go back to the days of partial lockdowns which had a negative impact on our economy and way of life but should that become necessary and should the number of active cases continue to increase at the current rate, I will have no option than to reimpose these restrictions because it is better to be safe than to be sorry so together let us all ensure that we respect the protocols,” the President said in his 22nd update on government’s enhanced responsive measures against the outbreak.
There has been a surge in the number of infections which has been largely attributed to the laxity in the adherence to safety measures among the public.
The President indicated that the government will reintroduce the testing, tracing, treating policy to help identify and isolate infected persons.