Officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) have deserted some registration centres in the ongoing Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern Region.
The exercise, which started on March 4, was scheduled to end on March 27. However, a visit to some registration centres yesterday showed they had been deserted.
Though some registrants had queued to go through the process, there was no sight of NIA officials.
It is not clear why the officials took that decision, especially in view of the fact that a statement released by the NIA had said the registration must continue.
The statement, signed by ACI Francis Palmdeti, Head of Corporate Affairs at the NIA, said, “the mass registration exercise currently ongoing in the Eastern Region will continue under specific guidelines.”
The guidelines, among others, are that supervising officers are to ensure that not more than 25 persons, including field officials, are present at a registration centre at any given time; take particulars of applicants immediately they arrive at a centre; and call them to attend a registration centre at specific date and time on appointment basis.
Others include officers wiping iris scanners used by an applicant before administering them to the next applicant and ensuring that applicants keep a social distance of two metres when at a centre.
The statement said the NIA would make every reasonable effort to provide hand gloves to all field officials who enroll or issue Ghana Card to applicants.
All field officials have also been directed to strictly adhere to the prescribed protocols spelt out by the President and the Ministry of Health for the prevention of the spread of the COVID 19 disease.
“All field officials are entreated to remain calm as the authority observes the situation for any further directives,” the statement added.
Kwahu Easter cancelled
In a related development, the Kwahu Traditional Council has suspended the 2020 Kwahu Easter celebrations and other related activities indefinitely in the wake of the coronavirus threat.
A statement issued by the Council yesterday said the directive is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The statement further said appointments and visits to various palaces in Kwahu have also been cancelled unless “they are extremely necessary.”
“All public engagements by Nananom within the Kwahu Traditional Council are canceled. Akwasidae should be celebrated with minimal contacts and restricted to indoor traditional ceremonies,” the statement indicated.
Among the role out measures issued, the chiefs and people of Kwahuman are to desist from travelling and suspend one-week observation for the dead.
Schools closed, gatherings suspended
The government yesterday closed all schools, from the basic to the tertiary level, following the confirmation of six cases of the COVID 19 in the country.
President Akufo-Addo said a televised address that all public gatherings, including church services, funerals, mosque attendance, had been suspended until further notice.
“After deliberations, I have decided, in the interest of public safety and protection of our population, to review the public gatherings advisories earlier announced.
“All public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four weeks. Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers not exceeding 25 in attendance,” the President said.
Meanwhile, establishments such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and drinking spots have been ordered to observe enhanced hygienic procedures by providing, among others, hand sanitisers, running water and soap for washing of hands.
The Ministry of Transport has also been directed to work with the transport unions and private and public transport operators to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals.
The President has further directed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to coordinate with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to enhance conditions of hygiene in markets across the country.