Restriction of movements in some parts of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi is in full force for two weeks, as a way of controlling the spread of the dreaded novel Coronavirus in Ghana.
These areas are described by the Ghana Health Service as the epicenters, where substantial numbers of the virus have been recorded.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday during his fourth televised address to the nation since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Ghana, noted that the lockdown is subject to review, is to achieve five key objectives.
These are – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
He added, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this pandemic. We have a unique situation in our country, and we must take it into account in dealing with the disease, whilst meeting all the six key WHO guidelines on the most effective ways of combating the pandemic.
Even though it may be said that the number of our infections is still, relatively, low, if we act now purposefully, we have a chance of preventing an escalation of our numbers.”
President Akufo-Addo explained in his broadcast that, everyone resident in the areas where the lockdown is implemented must stay at home for the next two weeks.
“However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities. But, as much as possible, stay at home,” he stated.
“There shall be, during this period, no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircrafts for private or commercial purposes for the areas of the restrictive measures, except for vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo. Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person, and all intra-city passenger vehicles, such as trotros and taxis, must reduce the number of passengers in order to observe appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols. Additionally, all commercial vehicle stations shall observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing,” he stressed.
Ghana’s case count has increased to 152 as of Sunday March 29, 2020, with five deaths.
Operation COVID Safety
The Ghana Police Service, in collaboration with other security services such as the Army, Nevy, Airforce, has since deployed security personnel across the capital and some parts of the Ashanti Region.
This is to protect the lives of citizens living in the areas that will be affected by the restrictions.
The “humanitarian exercise” as described by the Police will ensure that there is law and order in the restricted areas.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Dr Sayibu Pabi Gariba, Director, National Operations, Ghana Police Service, who is also a Member of the Operation COVID Safety, said at a press conference in Accra that the combined team of the police, the armed forces and other security agencies would be on the ground from 0100 hours on Monday, March 30, to enforce the lockdown in the affected areas.
He stated, “There would be roadblocks at the Weija Tollbooth on the Accra-Winneba Road, at Adam Nana on the Kasoa-Amansaman Road, at Kakraba Junction on the Kasoa-Nyanyano Road.
The rest are Ayi-Mensah Toll Both on the Accra-Akropong Road; Asutsuare Junction on the Tema Akosombo Road; Oyibi on the Accra Dodowa Road; Santo on the Ashaiman-Madina Road, and at Tsopoli on the Tema Akosombo Road; as well as along the Tema-Accra Beach Road.”
He added that within the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area, there would roadblocks on the Kumasi-Mampong Road at Mamponten; Takyi Number Two on the Kumasi-Obuasi Road, and all other principal roads leading into Kumasi.
DCOP Dr Gariba noted that their deployment would also cover market centres, shopping malls, and all the other areas that have been articulated by the President.
Some individuals and institutions providing the following services shall be exempted from the restrictions:
i. Members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary;
ii. production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages;
iii. environmental and sanitation activities;
iv. staff of VALCO;
v. road and railway construction workers;
vi. mining workers;
viii. members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties;
ix. staff of electricity, water, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers;
x. staff of fuel stations; and