At least 505 people have been arrested by the police in Accra and Tema for failing to wear nose masks at public places as part of government’s directive to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The police arrested 400 offenders in Accra while 105 were rounded up in various parts of the Tema metropolis, all for non-compliance with the directive to wear nose masks.
The Greater Accra Regional Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Effia Tenge, who confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times, in Accra, yesterday, said the 400 suspects were apprehended at Nima, Cantonments, Weija, East Legon, Kpeshie and Mamprobi all in Accra.
She said the police during the operation, observed that some of the suspects had nose masks concealed in their bags and pockets, while others rushed to purchase the masks when they saw that people were being arrested.
DSP Tenge said that warning letters have been issued to all those who were arrested.
She said the exercise would be sustained, and urged the public to wear nose masks to prevent the spread of the disease.
Godfred Blay-Gibbah reports from Tema that the Acting Tema Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Chief Inspector (Chief Insp) Stella Dede Dzakpasu, told journalists that 105 suspects aged between 17 and 64, made up of nine women and 96 men, were arrested at Tema Community 1.
She said that 22 of them were not wearing nose masks while 83 had nose masks struck in either their pockets or handbags, but failed to wear them.
According to Chief Insp Dzakpasu, after the arrest, some suspects called friends and relatives to bring them nose masks at the police station.
She said the suspects were cautioned to observe COVID-19 safety protocols in public transport and public places, granted self-recognisance bail and released.
It would be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 22nd broadcast to the nation on the COVID-19, directed the police and other security agencies to collaborate to ensure the strict enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols, following the upsurge of the disease.
He said “l have instructed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to direct officers, men and women of the Ghana Police Service to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask wearing at all public places and public transport.
“They are also to ensure the closure of all-night clubs, pubs, cinemas and beaches that may be operating in defiance of the law.”
Latest figures by the Ghana Health Service revealed that there were 391 new cases, 2,178 active cases with 358 death.
Currently, 58,822 confirmed cases with 56,286 recoveries.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI