Residents of areas described as Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi in Ghana will begin to fall under new restrictions of movements following orders by the President asking citizens to stay at home and limit their travels and human contacts as the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping across the world.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Friday announced a two-week restriction of movement in 40 localities in the Greater Accra region and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan area starting 0100 Hours on Monday, March 30, 2020.
The decision, imposed under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 20202, is part of stricter measures to contain and halt the spread of the COVID-19 in the country, especially in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, which have been identified as hotspots of the infection.
Areas to be affected by the restrictions in the Greater Accra Region include the Accra Metropolis, Tema Metropolis, the Tema West, Kpone Katamanso, Krowor, Ledzokuku, Adentan, Ashiaman, La-Nkwantanang, Madina, La-Dade-Kotopon, Okaikwei North, Ablekuma North, Ablekuma West, Ablekuma Central, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso North, Ayawaso West, Ayawaso Central, Ga North, Ga West, Ga South, Ga Central, Ga East, Korle-Klottey, Weija/Gbawe and the Awutu Senya East constituencies.
In the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area, the Kumasi Metropolis, Asokwa, Suame, Old Tafo, Oforikrom, Asokore Mampong, Kwadaso, Atwima Nwabiagya, Kwabre East, Ejisu, Afigya-Kwabre South, Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma and Atwima Nwabiagya North will be affected by the partial restriction on movements.
In his fourth national broadcast to update the nation on measures taken by the government to prevent the escalation of the virus, President Akufo-Addo said although the number of infections in Ghana was relatively low, “If we act now purposefully, we have a chance to prevent an escalation of our numbers.”
He said the two-week period “will give us the opportunity to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of person who had come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they have the virus.”
Ghana so far has recorded 141 confirmed cases of the contagion, with four deaths and two recoveries. Over 90 per cent of the recorded cases were imported into the country.
The restriction of movement however allows people to go out to get food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions and the use of public places of convenience.
Additionally, intercity movement of vehicles and aircraft for private and commercial purposes is prohibited, except for providing essential services and carrying of cargo.
Motorbike riders are not to carry additional persons, and all intra-city passenger vehicles such as mini buses and taxis are to reduce the number of passengers in order to observe social distancing and hygiene protocols.
However, professionals offering critical services were exempted.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the ban on public gatherings, religious or social, was still in force, stating that those who flouted them, irrespective of status, religion or ethnicity, would face the full rigours of the law.
He reminded Ghanaians that the security services had been clothed with the powers necessary to enforce the measures taken by the government to deal with the disease, adding, “I assure you that they will do so responsibly, but without fear or favour, ill-will or malice.”
The President urged residents of the affected areas to stay indoors because “the frontline of the fight against coronavirus is your front door. If you cross it, you and your family will likely be infected.”
“So, please, stay at home. It is vitally important that each one of us, in all parts of the country, continues to observe the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols, for they are the weapons of our defence against the virus.
“We can defeat this virus if we all commit ourselves to respecting all the measures that have been outlined. I am confident that Ghanaians will comply with them, and the security services will not have to intervene, with extraordinary means, to enforce them. The love of country is deeply embedded in all of us, and I assure you that the security forces will conduct themselves with the necessary professionalism,” he said.