The National Peace Council (NPC) has declared its support to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo’s directive to the security services to collaborate and enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols.
This follows an upsurge in the number of active cases and the discovery of new variants of the pandemic in the country.
“The security agencies must intensify their operations to arrest such recalcitrant members of the public who are flouting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols as well as perpetuating crime.”
Mr Charles Ohene Amoh, the Executive Secretary of the Central Region branch of the NPC, said they must be determined and resolute in discharging their constitutional mandate regardless of one’s socio-political status and religious affiliation to serve as a deterrent to others.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast, Mr Amoh expressed the Council’s concern over the impunity with which some Ghanaians were covertly and overtly flouting the safety protocols.
“Many Ghanaians have failed to follow through with COVID-19 protocols. Protecting ourselves, wearing masks, observing social distancing and hand washing are crucial,” he said, adding that the most neglected of health protocols was the wearing of nosemasks, which was the most sensitive of all protocols.
Mindful of the health and legal ramifications of disobeying the safety measures in place, Mr Amoh asked all to comply more with the COVID-19 adopted protocols to prevent further spread of the virus.
He said “sanctions exist in our laws for persons who want to continue to disregard these protocols, and for those who want to endanger the lives of the rest of the population through their actions and negligence, the law enforcement agencies will, where necessary apply these measures without fear or favour.”
Touching on the impact of COVID-19 on reopening of schools, Mr Amoh underlined the urgent need for students to be more disciplined in adhering to the personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing measures.
He said school authorities must be guided by the Ghana Education Service (GES) guidelines for the reopening of schools which sought to promote the observance of all the protocols of the COVID-19 to make schools safe for learners, staff and educational workers.
“The goal of the GES is to ensure that learners, teaching and non-teaching staff were safe in school to help stop the spread of the disease”, he said and cautioned learners, teachers and other staff who were sick or felt sick to stay at home and not go to school.
He charged schools to enforce regular hand-washing with soap under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitiser and regularly disinfect and clean school surfaces such as door handles, tables and chairs.
Mr Amoh further charged the schools to enforce the wearing of nose masks at all times, promote social distancing during school gatherings (assembly and worship sessions) and dining sessions.
They should ensure the pupils disengage from all unnecessary assemblies, sporting and other outdoor activities that could make them susceptible to contracting the pandemic.
Parents must priotise the health and safety of their children and wards by ensuring regular supply of personal protective equipment to guarantee their health and safety in school and at home, he indicated.
They should go beyond the “I don’t have money” mantra by prioritizing the health of their vulnerable children by regularly supplying them their protective equipment and teaching them how to wash, dry, iron and safely dispose used ones to avoid infection and reinfection”, Mr Amoh advised.