President Akufo-Addo has charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong Boanuh, to direct his officers to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask-wearing at all public places and in transport.
According to him, the officers should also ensure the closure of all night clubs, pubs, cinemas and beaches that may be operating in defiance of the law.
Addressing the nation on Sunday night, President Akufo-Addo said "In furtherance of this, I have instructed the Inspector General of Police to direct officers, men and women of the Police Service to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask-wearing at all public places and in public transport. They are also to ensure the closure of all night clubs, pubs, cinemas and beaches that may be operating in defiance of the law"
He further hinted that the police officers will be assisted by the other security agencies if need be.
"Persons in market places, workplaces, and operators of public transport must conduct their activities in accordance with the hygiene and safety protocols. The wearing of masks in these places is mandatory."
President Akufo-Addo however hinted that regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure conformity with COVID-19 rules adding that should any facility or institution fail to comply with these directives, its activities will be immediately prohibited, and appropriate sanctions applied.
"It is important that I remind all Ghanaians that severe punishments exist on our statute books for persons breaking the law on the mandatory wearing of masks. Should anyone be arrested by the security agencies disregarding this directive, that person will be dealt with strictly in accordance with the law"
He retreated that the country will not want to go back to the days of partial lockdowns, which had a negative impact on the economy and way of life.
"But should that become necessary, i.e., should the number of active cases continues to increase at the current rate, I will have no option but to re-impose these restrictions because it is better to be safe than to be sorry. So, together, let us all ensure that we respect the protocols," he stressed.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith