A 14-day restriction on movements in parts of the Greater Accra Region and Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, as part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus, comes into effect today.
The lockdown affects areas where significant numbers of virus infections have been recorded.
Delivering his fourth national televised address on the state’s anti-coronavirus strategy on Friday evening, President Nana Akufo-Addo said beginning from 1:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30, the lockdown will restrict the movement people for a period of two weeks subject to review.
The lockdown, he explained, is to enable contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with persons who have tested positive for the deadly virus.
Since the start of the week, there have been numerous calls on Nana Akufo-Addo to declare a lockdown like many countries have done to mitigate the growing spread of the deadly disease.
As of Sunday, March 29, 2020, Ghana has recorded 152 coronavirus cases with five deaths.
The police administration, in collaboration with the Ghana Navy, Army and Airforce, has deployed security personnel across Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi.
The operation has been dubbed ‘Operation COVID Safety’ and the police describe it as a humanitarian exercise to protect the lives of citizens.
The operation will essentially ensure the effectiveness of law and order in the restricted areas in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Region.
Police say it is crucial for exempted persons moving about to carry identifications
There will roadblock mounted at vantage points, especially on peripheries of the affected areas.
At least 400 police personnel have been deployed. The military will provide additional support.
During the lockdown period, residents in the affected areas can do banking transactions, get food and petroleum products or use public toilet facilities.
But there will be no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircraft for private or commercial purposes. Only vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo will have some freedom to operate.
Motorists using motorbikes will not be allowed to carry any additional person whilst all intra-city passenger vehicles, such as ‘trotros’ and taxis, have been directed to reduce the number of passengers.
Additionally, all commercial vehicle stations are expected to observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing.
Also, all the markets of the affected metropolises and persons involved activities in the food value chain will be allowed to operate in the markets during this period.
In effect, all persons involved in the growing, processing, and selling the food items will be able to make a living during this period.
But vendors of clothing, electrical gadgets, beauty products, among other everyday items, will not be able to trade during the 14 days of the lockdown.
Food chains and restaurants can only operate pick-up and delivery services.
Other workers who will be able to head to their jobs come Monday will be persons aligned to the production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages, environmental and sanitation activities, road and railway construction workers, members of the security agencies, workers at fuel stations and staff of utility, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers.
All members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary are exempt from the restrictions. Media personnel have also been granted exemptions.
In Greater Accra, the following areas will be affected:
-Awutu Senya East
In the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area the following areas are affected:
*Atwima Nwabiagya North