A number of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) nationwide, have begun enforcement of mandatory wearing of face or nose masks as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The enforcement is in line with COVID-19 directives issued by the Ministry of Health in accordance with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s order making the wearing of masks in public compulsory days after the lifting of the lockdown.
Relying on Section 169 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), the Minister responsible for Health by Executive Instrument (E. I.65) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency and under Section 170(1) of the Act ordered a mandatory wearing of face and nose masks in public places as one of the preventive measures against COVID-19
Since the announcement, majority of Ghanaians have largely complied with the directive, though many others continue to defy the order compelling the authorities to begin an exercise to enforce the charge as the scale of the pandemic grows, across the world.
The authorities of the Greater Accra RCC announced this week that it will commence the enforcement exercise to compel every person in the region to mandatorily wear a face or nose mask in public and educate them on why nose mask is necessary in the wake the pandemic.
Our visit to the Greater Accra business district yesterday revealed that, although some persons were wearing the face or nose masks and were cooperating with the city authorities, many others, however, were without the mask.
The Ghanaian Times commends the city authorities for the decision but we believe that enforcement must be intensified to ensure the health and safety of residents of the Greater Accra Region.
Indeed, since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has encouraged the wearing of masks as one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus given that the disease is spread by droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces.
So, the mask can serve as a protection in situations such as when one is in close quarters with others where someone infected might sneeze or cough in your face.
This is why every Ghanaian, no matter your status must support and wear the face or nose masks as well as wash hands frequently with soap underwater which have so far proven very effective in the fight against COVID-19.
We wish to encourage the city authorities to enforce the directive strictly because if everyone complied, we will all be safe and that is the only way to defeat the deadly virus.