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Face masks now mandatory; people who fail to wear them will be sanctioned – Akufo-Addo

Woman wearing a face mask

Ghanaians are now required by law to wear face masks in public places.

Those who fall foul of the new executive order will face arrest and possible prosecution, according to President Akufo-Addo.

“Leaving our homes without a face mask or face covering on is an offence,” the president said in his 11th address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis.

“The police have been instructed to enforce this directive, which is the subject of an Executive Instrument.”

The president used his address to issue a warning to residents of the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Central Regions – which have recorded the highest number of cases so far – to be particularly careful and adhere to the recommended protocols to halt the spread of the disease.

“It is important for me to remind residents of the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, where the great majority of cases have been recorded, and in the Western and Central Regions, where we are seeing an increase in infection cases, to continue to adhere strictly to the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols announced,” he said.

“With the doctors and scientists telling us that the virus is transmitted from human contact, through talking, singing, coughing and sneezing, which results in sending droplets of the virus from one person to another, residents of these four regions and, indeed, all Ghanaians, must remember that the wearing of masks is now mandatory.”

Stop stigmatisation

The four regions mentioned in the president’s address currently have the most cases recorded so far, with Greater Accra leading the caseload figures with 6,997, followed by Ashanti, Western and Central, following with 2,021, 951 and 621 cases, respectively.

In his address, the president also called on Ghanaians to stop stigmatising people who have recovered from the coronavirus. The stigmatisation of family members of recovered patients must also end, he said.

“There’s nothing shameful about testing positive” for COVID-19, he stressed.

The president paid tribute to the former Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi Anthony Sam, who died of the coronavirus in Accra on Friday evening.

The president also confirmed that the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has tested positive for COVID-19 “in the line of duty” and wished him a speedy recovery.

SourceKumah Prince Michael

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