Wearing of facemasks made mandatory nationwide

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The Minister of Health by the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) has directed the wearing of face masks by all and sundry to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Section 170(1) of the Act clothes the Minister with powers to order an individual to take a preventive measure in respect of public health matters.

In pursuant to this, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, issued a statement on Saturday, April 25 directing the wearing of face masks “in all public places where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing”.

“The general public is encouraged to wear mask or face covering when going out whether sick or not or attending to a sick person,” the statement urged.

“Incorrect use of the face mask carries a high risk of infection.”

Citizens have been advised to clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer before putting on a mask.

They must ensure that the mask fully covers the mouth and nose with no gaps between the face and the mask.

“Avoid touching the mask after you have worn it,” it directed.

In removing the mask, the finger must be used by passing it through the loop behind one ear as a touch of the front of the mask is prohibited.

Special kinds of masks have been recommended.

“Homemade masks with strings to be tied behind the neck or head are not encouraged,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye stated.

JAVA or WAX cloths sown with triple-layered and stringed with side loops should be worn as hooks to the ear.

Calico inlaid with fabric stiffens and inner covered with side loops should are also recommended to be worn.

Those required to wear the masks are food vendors and sellers at markets, commercial vehicle drivers and attendants, commuters on public transports, persons in public and commercial centres, facilities and buildings including but not limited to offices, bars, workshops, restaurants, sports arenas and spas, saloons, shopping malls, churches, clinics and hospitals and all other facilities accessible to the public whether privately or publicly owned

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