President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lamented the sheer disregard for the coronavirus protocols by some Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo is unhappy that at most public events, Ghanaians throw caution to the wind and disobey the protocols advised by the country’s health officials.
President Akufo-Addo says health experts have identified funerals, weddings and other social events as breeding grounds for the coronavirus.
He disclosed in an address on Sunday that most of the cases recorded recently are mainly from passengers at the Kotoka International Airport.
The local cases, he says, are increasing rapidly because infected persons attend events without wearing nose masks and obeying the other protocols.
“Recent genomic sequencing undertaken by our scientists have established that some arriving passengers tested positive for new variants of COVID-19.
‘These passengers have all been isolated. Furthermore, work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.
“Detailed investigations of the cases indicate that, apart from arriving passengers at our airport who tested positive, infected persons have recent histories of attending parties, weddings, end of year office programmes, family get-togethers, and funerals.
‘At these gatherings, most of them abandoned the use of the masks, and were engaged in actions that led to them contracting the virus.”
To help control the spread, President Akufo-Addo has directed the Inspector General of Police to enforce the directive of compulsory mask-wearing at public places.
He warned that there will be severe punishment for persons who are found breaching the law.
“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.
‘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,” he said.
Akufo-Addo added that “persons in market places, 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.”
Akufo-Addo’s 22nd address to the nation on measures to fight coronavirus