Soldiers have disrupted a group of people in Walewale, North East region who were defying the coronavirus directives designed to protect them from catching the virus

Soldiers have stormed mosques and other public gatherings as part of a Covid-19 operation in Walewale, in the North East region.

The military operation which started Friday evening, lasted through the night till Saturday, in several neighbourhoods of the town.

The military persons closed down some mosques and burnt wooden structures which were used as local social hotspots where people gather to rest and chat. 

The soldiers also disrupted congregational prayers in three mosques on Friday evening and chased away several people of the crowds for not observing the social distancing protocols. 

A congregant who fled one of the mosques, told JoyNews that many people who could not flee were beaten.

“We were about to pray Maghreb around 6 o’clock and all of a sudden, we saw them coming down from the vehicle. All of us including the imam run from the mosque,” the source, who refused to be identified, said.

“But we were lucky”, he added. “They went to two other mosques and beat up the people. This morning they went to the cemetery side and burnt down all the structures erected by the youth.”

Walewale has recorded two positive cases of the coronavirus, with one dead and several contacts being traced by health authorities. 

The first case was confirmed on Friday 10 April, 2020. However, the patient died and was buried before his test results from the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research proved he was positive for Covid-19.

A new case was also confirmed on Thursday April 16, from samples taken from 43 primary contacts, including family relatives and health staff, identified as persons who came in contact with the deceased patient. 

Many residents still doubt the existence of the coronavirus while others believe they might be immune, thus their reason for ignoring health authorities’ advise to stay at home and stop public gatherings.

Social distancing is also not practiced regularly in Walewale.