The Coastal Development Authority (CoDA) has presented 70,000 nose masks and boxes of hand sanitisers to the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to support efforts to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The donation, according to Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Jerry Ahmed Shaib, was to enable all residents within the coastal zone adhere to the wearing of nose masks directive and practise personal hygiene protocols to stop the spread of the disease.
Speaking at a brief presentation ceremony in Accra yesterday, he said the items would be distributed among the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region to be given out to residents who stood the greatest risk of being infected by virtue of their occupation.
Primarily, the beneficiaries, he noted, would include commercial drivers, traders and market women and fisher folks who would also be sensitised on the magnitude of the crisis facing the country and world at large and the need for announced measures to be observed.
“It is important for our trotro drivers and mates, traders and market women and fisher folks to understand the issues surrounding this pandemic in order for them to strictly observe and enforce preventive measures in their vehicles and at the markets as well as educate their families too.
It is critical that we highlight the dangers of being infected and emphasise the need to wear face masks and observe all other measures,” Mr Shaib added.
The donation and awareness creation, he explained, was CoDA’s support to curb the spread of the disease and help to enhance quality health service delivery within the coastal development zone.
Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey, expressed gratitude to the authority for the donation which would complement efforts to enforce the “No Mask, No Entry” directive issued by the Regional Security Council to compel residents to wear nose masks to nib the disease in the bud.
Although it was mandatory for people to wear nose masks, he acknowledged that not everyone had the means to acquire one, adding that such donations would ensure that all groups of people were protected from the virus.
He entreated beneficiaries to adhere to the procedures for wearing and removing of masks and avoid actions that could contaminate the nose masks and urged other organisations and individuals to donate more nose or face masks in support of the vulnerable in various communities.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kwesi Ofori, Director of Operations at the Accra Regional Police Command, said the police would arrest persons who flout the directive on nose masks wearing since the directive was aimed at protecting the lives of Ghanaians as well as the public health system.
He noted that police patrols would continuously be briefed on enforcement of the directive adding that the police has further redirected its focus on educating the ordinary members of the public who were likely to disregard the preventive measures due to lack of information.
“For us, we have taken this fight further and have included education of ordinary Ghanaians as part of our enforcement strategy. People abuse the directive because they have no information on the disease,” he said.
President of the Greater Accra Market Association, Mercy Naa Afrowa Nee Djan, said the leadership has educated the market women on the protocols and ensured social distancing is practised effectively.
She cautioned buyers not to touch goods and items displayed for sale but rather point to avoid contamination.