COVID-19 Mitigation: Face masks directive is being flouted by many

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Nose Masks
Nose Masks

Several days after President Akufo-Addo proposed the wearing of face masks, to reduce the infection of COVID-19, following the lifting of the partial lockdown, many people are yet to use the masks in public.

Although an encouraging number of people were seen wearing the nose masks on the streets of Accra, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Saturday observed that many in the Central Business District were not complying with the directive.

It was observed that while some people wore the masks as prescribed to cover the nose and mouth, several others disregarded the caution and brought the masks just to their chins- leaving the mouth and nose unprotected.

A number of pedestrians and motorists also preferred to wear the masks on their foreheads or were seen walking about without it.

In an interaction with a number of them who disregarded and flouted the directive, some said the masks were stuffy and soon became uncomfortable after wearing it for some minutes or few hours, other said it was currently at the chin but should the need arise, they would pull it over their nose.

Mr Joshua Lartey, a Taxi driver who was seen without the mask, said he did not believe the COVID-19 was real as he had not seen any COVID-19 patient since the nation recorded its initial statistics.

He said people were exaggerating on the cause of the disease and were causing fear and panic among the populace.
Ms Belinda Amoansah, a trader at the Makola Market, also seen with the mask pulled to the chin, explained that the mask generated a lot of heat and discomfort.

“I know the mask is a protective gear. However, it produces a lot of heat and when you wear it for a long time, it is as if you can’t breathe. So I pulled it down a little for fresh air and wear it well later,” she said.

Others complained about how unfavourable some of the masks were sewed to tighten their nose and mouth, thereby making it difficult for them to breathe.

The GNA also observed that a variety of locally manufactured nose masks being sold at vantage points on busy streets within Accra, like along the George Bush Highway at Lapaz, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra Kingsway, Makola, and Tudu among other places.

The masks were made of different materials including African print, nylon, cotton, and wool.

In the Greater Accra Region, which is currently the epicenter of the virus in Ghana, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, the Regional Minister, after a consultation with the Regional Security Coordinating Council (RESECC) has made wearing of nose masks mandatory for all.

Ghana as at Saturday April 25, 2020 had recorded 1,279 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with the Greater Accra Region recording 1,089 out of the total number of cases.

Out of the total number of confirmed cases, there are 134 recoveries and 10 deaths.

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