The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly in the Upper East Region, is targeting to close down drinking spots and game centers to avoid communal drinking and gathering to suppress the spread of COVID 19.
Information reaching the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Bolgatanga from a source close to the Assembly said in spite of the constant reminders of residents to take steps to avoid the spread of the virus, drinking spots have become safe haven for meetings over bottles.
The region has recorded eight cases of the COVID-19 and one death with majority of the cases coming from the Bolgatanga Municipality, hence, the urgency in the need to take steps to close some key crowd gathering activities, including closure of markets on market days and complete or partial closure of drinking spots in the Municipality.
The Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Amiyuure, who confirmed the possible closure of drinking spots and game centers in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, explained that these spots were areas people gathered mostly at night to drink, engage in other activities and did not observe social distancing.
He added that game centers would also be closed down to ensure that the residents respected the social distancing advise given by the President and other health experts to check the spread of the virus.
Mr Amiyuure who has been commended by sections of the media for taking such bold decisions to safe residents in the Municipality, said he would meet the COVID-19 Enforcement Committee on Monday and instruct them to enforce the decision as quickly as possible, adding that, the Assembly would adopt and enforce every decision that would contribute to slow the spread of the disease.
He indicated that closeness from crowding, blatant refusal by some residents to observe directives on social distancing and individuals unwillingness to stay at home “even though they may have no business to do in town are some of the worrying incidents that the Assembly is confronted with”.
The Chief Executive expressed gratitude to traders in the region and those coming from neighbouring regions, especially for their understanding on the decision taken by the Assembly to close the markets on market days for trading.
He commended the COVID-19 Enforcement Committee for a good work done through the enforcement and engagements with traders and congratulated the media for its role in educating the members of the public on the disease, as well as the security agencies for their cooperation.
The MCE said he would be meeting the COVID-19 Committee to brief them on the enforcement of the new decision to ensure the safety of residents.
He spoke against stigmatisation of people living with the disease and their families and urged residents to avoid such negative attitudes.
“Such persons and their families need attention and consolations from community members in these crucial times”, he added.