The advice was part of measures to ensure that residents stayed safe, and prevents the possible spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Region.
Dr Ofosu said one could contract the virus unknowingly when one move into areas infected with it, “When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus could stay in the air for about eight hours.
“So the person may even release it and go away, and if you come into that area, you could be infected. If you don’t have anything to do outside your home, stay home because when you are outside, someone who has the disease may sneeze or cough then you get the virus.”
The Director was speaking at a ceremony to present Veronica Buckets, nose masks, bottles of liquid soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissue papers to four selected Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the Region.
The Assemblies included the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, the Kassena-Nankana Municipal, the Bawku Municipal and the Builsa South District Assemblies.
The brief ceremony was at the instance of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (UERCC), and brought together Chief Executives from selected Assemblies and the leadership of market women from the four selected MDAs in the Region and the media.
The hand washing facilities which would be distributed to market centres and positioned at vantage areas in the selected Municipalities and Districts, was the initiative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to promote proper hand washing practice among market women and members of the public to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Ofosu called on individuals to observe the principle of social distancing and that the practice should not be limited to public gatherings alone.
“Even in our offices, we should make sure that we re-design our sitting arrangements, particularly when you have two or more people in one office, so that there is sufficient distance, and adequate ventilation.”
He said it was critical for offices that received customers or clients to observe a distance of at least one to two metres between officers and customers, “Because you don’t know who is infected. There are quite a number of people who may have the virus but they are asymptomatic, they don’t show any signs, and may have the capability to actually transmit the infection.”
Dr Josephat Nyuzaghl, the Upper East Regional Deputy Director of the GHS in charge of Public Health, who demonstrated to participants the process of proper hand washing and application of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, said for effective hand washing, all wrist watches and rings should be removed and long sleeve shirts folded to elbow level.
He urged them to ensure that the water in the Veronica Buckets was clean before usage and urged all to use tissue paper to clean their hands after washing, and not hand towels or handkerchiefs because such items could contaminate their hands.