The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has entreated members of the public to stick to the use of face masks as a protective measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Mr Jeffery Adda, the Builsa North Municipal Director of the NCCE who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Sandema, emphasized that “The Upper East Region is one of the hotspots of the virus in the country now, per the President’s recent update.
“We all have to take the protocols seriously, especially the use of face masks to ensure that we safe ourselves from the virus, and pray that the vaccine as indicated by the President will arrive by March.”
Mr Adda noted that the Commission was mandated to educate members of the public on issues of governance and health, adding that “Since March last year, till date, the Commission has intensified education on the safety protocols of the Ghana Health Service.
“And from that time till now, I am sure there is nobody in Ghana who will say he or she has not heard about the safety protocols of COVID-19. The issue now has to do with compliance to the protocols,” he said.
He said there was ongoing education intended to remind members of the public on the need to observe the safety precautions, and to inform them, especially traders at market centres about a law that mandated everyone in Ghana to be in face masks at public places.
“So what we are doing now is to collaborate with the Ghana Police Service and other law enforcement agencies to ensure we reach out to the people and encourage them to know that it is important to safe themselves and others around,” Mr Adda said.
He said the law would deal with persons who did not comply with the directive, and reiterated that the NCCE among other responsibilities, was charged with the mandate to educate the citizenry on the safety protocols to ensure strict compliance and safe environment for all.
The Municipal Director urged all residents in the Upper East Region, especially the people of Buluk to take all the COVID-19 safety protocols seriously.
The GNA observed that even though the use of face masks among residents within the Sandema township had improved, the social distancing protocol was still a challenge among most residents.
Some residents were seen playing games such as draught and other games under trees without adherence to the social distancing protocol.
The Agency noticed that public institutions within the Municipality also had “No Face Masks, No Entry” signs posted at their entrances with hand washing facilities provided for visitors.
At the Sandema Hospital for instance, nurses at the Out-Patient Department ensured that visitors to the facility had their face masks on, they were directed to wash their hands while their temperatures were checked before they entered the facility.
Also at the offices of the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Police Service and the Municipal Assembly among others, visitors without face masks were not allowed entry.
Some residents told the GNA that though the use of the face mask was uncomfortable, as they could not breathe properly in it, they were compelled to use it to protect themselves and others from the virus.