Obuasi Covid-19 Security Taskforce

Some Covid-19 patients in Obuasi have been relocated from private homes to an isolation centre under tight security.

The transfer follows a successful take-over of the facility by armed members of the Covid-19 Security Taskforce.

The Covid-19 Taskforce on Monday night forcibly broke into the private facility at Akaporiso suburb put under key and lock by some angry residents.

Residents who have been protesting the sitting of the Centre locked and blocked the two main entrances as well as the road leading to the facility with padlocks and concrete blocks.

It comes as authorities battle to contain the spread of coronavirus in the mining town of Obuasi, which has recorded a lot of cases, making it the new epicentre in the Ashanti Region.

The town as of Monday has recorded 261 cases, more than half of 483 Covid-19 cases recorded in the entire Region.

Local and health authorities are concerned with the surge in cases despite efforts instituted to curb the spread, including the closure of two main markets.

They blame lack of attitudinal change on the part of residents especially market women who have thrown caution to the wind. They don’t adhere to WHO protocols of social distancing protocols and the wearing of face mask.

Health authorities met strong resistance from residents of Akaporiso as they prepared an isolation centre for some Covid-19 patients.

The angry youth had blocked the main road to the facility saying the centre could pose health risk to the community.

After several attempts to convince them to rescind their decision failed, the Obuasi East Assembly resolved to use force.

Chairperson of the District Security Committee (DISEC), Faustina Amissah who is also the Chief Executive for Obuasi East told Joy News the decision to use force was adopted at one of their meetings.

“We’ve given them enough education for about three days now. The health directorate has gone to speak with them including the chief, Assembly and Unit Committee members.

“Despite that, they are still resisting so the next option is force. We have to send them [patients] there because we can’t continue keeping them in their various homes as most of them share basic facilities with other people,” she said.

At about 8 p.m on Monday, the Covid-19 Taskforce came face-to-face with the protesters.

The Obuasi Municipal Commander, DSP Martin Assenso who was leading the charge entreated the officers drawn from the Police and Service, CEPS, Bureau of National Investigations and Ghana Immigration Service to be resolute.

In less than an hour, the operation was over without any resistance from the youth as the armed team forcibly broke padlocks and removed the roadblocks to pave way for the transfer of the patients to the facility.

“They used their own padlocks to lock the place so we have to break in to make access to that particular place,” DSP Martin Assenso said.

He said all isolation centers in Obuasi will henceforth be manned by armed security personnel.

“We have put security there to provide 24-hour guard there because if we don’t do this, it will also affect other communities. It is our duty to enforce the rules as it they are”.