By Mudasiru Abdul Yakeen
Four district and municipal assemblies in the Eastern Region have announced a joint effort of resorting to checkpoints and security patrol to deal with the high influx of people from the Greater Accra Region due to the partial lockdown.
The joint effort involves the Akuapem North, Akuapem South and Okere districts, as well as the New Juaben South municipality. They agreed on the joint effort at a meeting held by their respective public health emergency committees and security councils.
The Information Services Department of assemblies are to carry out public education to encourage enhanced personal hygiene and to ensure strict adherence of other precautionary measures to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic .
The directives issued by the four assemblies include a strategic mounting of barriers and checkpoints at key entry points of the four assemblies.
Also, public health workers will be present at the various checkpoints to take the temperature of people and direct abnormal cases to the appropriate authorities.
In addition, all commercial transport (taxis/trotros) will be mandatorily checked at the various checkpoints before being allowed in and out of the affected areas.
Taxis will also be allowed to carry only one person at the front seat and two persons at the back.
Trotros will now carry only one person at the front seat and two persons at each of the back seats, for “urvan” buses and three persons at each of the back seats for “sprinter”.
Furthermore, all hotels and guest houses are to provide to the assemblies the number of visitors they have received from March 29 to date for the necessary actions to be taken.
They have also been tasked to ensure the provision of Veronica buckets and mandatory hand washing before entry to their reception, as well as make available infrared thermometers to check the temperature of guests visiting their premises.
Markets to run on shift
The large and crowded markets have also been directed to start operating a shift system to reduce the number of traders at a time on market days.
The markets, namely Adawso, Asenema, Koforidua Central, Juabeng Serwah, Zongo and Agatha markets, as well as the beads market in Koforidua, are to take note of the directives, which took effect yesterday, Tuesday March 31.
Closure of drinking bars
Also all pubs and drinking spots have been asked to shut down until further notice, as a measure to reduce the challenges in contact tracing, while all food vendors, “chop bars” and restaurants can operate, even though customers cannot be allowed to sit and eat.
Meanwhile, all assembly members have been directed to carry out public education, using the Community Information Centres (CICs) in their various electoral areas, on these measures.
They are also to inform families to encourage their relatives who have moved from Accra and other places to have themselves checked at health facilities and self-isolate to curb any possible spread.
The police and the emergency response teams of the assemblies have been urged to step up patrol operations to ensure that these measures are complied with.