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General News of Friday, 27 March 2020


IGP rescinds order on lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Obuasi

A lockdown may be executed in a bid to contain the spread of the virus A lockdown may be executed in a bid to contain the spread of the virus

The Inspector General of Police, Mr James Oppong Boanuh, has rescinded his order to the police force to prepare for a lockdown in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Obuasi which will be “executed in a bid to contain the spread of the Corona Virus [sic]”.

Another memo sighted by GhanaWeb said the IGP "directs the operation order is withdrawn with immediate effect. Meanwhile, further directives will be issued on the contents in due course."

Earlier, a police operation strategy contained in a police memo sighted by said the lockdown will be undertaken by the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Bureau of National Investigation in a joint internal security operation to enforce the lockdown.

“The Ghana Police Service (GPS), the Service will foremost lay emphasis on enforcing the lockdown directives to the letter. Furthermore, the GPS will continue to strengthen its role in strictly enforcing mandatory and self-quarantine guidelines in coordination with the GHS as required,” the documents noted.

The documents also identified what the police considered as “potential threats” as these cities are locked down.

It mentioned:

- Possible agitation and adverse reactions against lockdown order.

- The likelihood of criminal elements taking advantage of the lockdown to loot businesses, stores and shops.

- The possibility of some individuals or groups of people disregarding the order.

- Possible supply chain disruption leading to tension and agitation. Depletion of essential commodities leading to shortages of food stocks in particular.

- Possible breakdown of law and order among others.

Having identified these threats, the police said, it will “strictly enforce” the lockdown order to ensure strict compliance by all and sundry.

The documents said the police will mount 24/7 roadblocks, snap checkpoints to ensure compliance as well as conduct robust day and night patrols to enforce directives.

Offenders of the orders would be arrested and prosecuted, it warned.

It is expected that over 800 personnel including Senior Police Officers and Inspectorate would be deployed to support the exercise.

Meanwhile, all National Operations Directorate (NOD) Units personnel namely: Formed Police Unit (FPU), Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Highway Patrol Unit (HPU), Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) and Mounted Squadron would be placed on 24/7 standby for the lockdown exercise.

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