The Ashanti Regional Security Council will from Wednesday, April 22, embark on an operation to ensure residents of Greater Kumasi and its environs, wear nose masks as a measure to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Joy News’ Nana Yaw Gyimah, the Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, said his outfit has observed that residents do no wear the protective gear, which could endanger their lives.

He noted that security personnel will be deployed to various venues to ensure that all precautionary measures are adhered to, particularly social distancing and wearing of nose masks despite lifting of the lockdown.

“Everybody should be able to acquire the face mask by the close of today [Tuesday], because from tomorrow if we see you without face mask in public places, we will ask you to go home.

“Until you have the face mask, you can’t step out and especially in the market areas, and areas where we have large crowds.

This initiative is in response to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s advise to all Ghanaians to always wear nose masks and regularly practice the safety protocols, following the lifting of the three-week lockdown in some parts of the country.

“I want to encourage everyone, to wear a mask, wherever you go as it will help, not to contract the virus,” the President said when addressing the nation on Sunday.

Meanwhile, some residents in the region say wearing the nose masks makes uncomfortable because, they find breathing difficult, the reason they do not like using it.

And for those who have them have also been found not to be wearing them properly, they either put it on their chin or their foreheads.

“Trying it on the first time was very uncomfortable. The heat was excruciating and it puts pressure on my ear,” a resident told Joy News.

However, a Virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Dr Michael Owusu has cautioned citizens to priortise their health and not the comfortability of the mask.

“The moment you find yourself at a public gathering [space] , it could be the market or the trotro [public transport], the first thing you must ensure is that you are in a nose mask,” he emphasised.