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COVID-19: “No face mask, No entry” directive good but “not enforceable” – Police

The Ghana Police Service has lauded the decision by the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to ensure the “mandatory wearing of face masks in the Greater Accra Region by the general public”, but says the move is “not enforceable”.

On Wednesday, a press statement issued and signed by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Ishmael Ashitey after an “emergency” REGSEC meeting said among other directives that, “notices of “NOSE FACE MASK, NO ENTRY”, should be visibly displayed at vantage points including offices, lorry stations, shops, markets, malls, banks, pharmacies, among others”.

The statement also directed “Commercial drivers to ensure all passengers wear face masks before being allowed to board their vehicles”.

The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly in the Central Region have also taken similar decisions, all in efforts aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus in those regions.

While the police believe the measure is “a very good step in the right direction but it must be backed by some law so it becomes enforceable”.

Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Afia Tenge told Adom FM in an interview monitored by MyNewsGh.com on Friday that, “it is very good for everybody to applaud the coordinating councils, but if we had some legislative instrument or law to make it enforceable, it would help the police and give us special powers to arrest and prosecute persons who would not wear the masks”.

“It is up to the appropriate agencies and all relevant agencies to take up the charge, so that whoever must ensure that it becomes enforceable by law does so; social distancing is clearly spelt out in the Imposition of Restrictions Act, (ACT 1012), under EI 65 regulation 4, so it empower the police to arrest people and put them before the court; the same cannot be said about this one”, she added.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah however maintains that, his “NO NOSE MASK, NO ENTRY” directive is captured under the ACT 1012 and so, “with effect from Monday, any person who would be found not adhering to same would be arrested by the police in the Ashanti Region”.

He warned that, persons who may be found culpable could pay up to GHC 12,000 in fines or serve a jail term in default.

The Greater Accra Region and the Ashanti Region continue to dominate on the log of regions being hit by the deadly COVID-19.

With 1, 279 total confirmed cases, 134 recoveries and 10 deaths, the two regions account for 1158 of all cases, with 1059 and 69 respectively.

Ghana’s case count continue to rise by the day; it is however among countries with the lowest number of deaths and slowest recovery rate in Africa.

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