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General News of Sunday, 29 March 2020

Source: GNA

Security forces will ensure compliance to contain coronavirus spread - Akufo-Addo


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Government has empowered the security forces to ensure that residents of the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas comply with the directives restricting their movement to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Effective 0100 hours on Monday, March 30, residents of some 40 local government jurisdictions will have their movements curtailed for two weeks, except to access essential services.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who announced this on Friday, also cautioned:“Let me also reiterate that the ban on public gatherings, religious or social, is still in force.

" Anyone, irrespective of status, religion or ethnicity, who is found to be flouting them will be dealt with fully in accordance with law.

“The security services have been clothed with the necessary power to enforce these measures, and I assure you that they will do so responsibly, but without fear or favour, ill-will or malice”.

President Akufo-Addo said to accelerate the contact tracing process, and ensure curtail the spread of the virus in the shortest time, military and police personnel will be deployed to assist health authorities to expedite the process.

He said the Government had succeeded in halting any more importations of the virus into the country and thanked those adhering to the good hygiene and social distancing protocols announced in his first broadcast.

However, the prevailing circumstances meant that stricter measures had to be put in place to contain and halt the spread of the virus within the country, especially in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, which had been identified by the Ghana Health Service as the “hotspots” of the infections.

“In doing this, we cannot afford to copy blindly, and do all the things some other well-developed countries are doing,” he stated.

There was no one-size-fits-all approach to this pandemic he declared, explaining that the situation of the country was unique and the Government must consider that in dealing with the disease.

It also had to meet all the six key World Health Organisation (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,” he said.

“So, effective 1 am on Monday, 30th March, some forty-eight hours from now, I have imposed, pursuant to the powers granted the President of the Republic, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), which includes Awutu Senya East), and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, for a period of two weeks, subject to review.”

He said it would give the Government the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who had come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment.

“This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas 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 explained that during the period there shall be, 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.

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