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40 People arrested for not wearing nose masks

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
40 People arrested for not wearing nose masks

Forty people have been arrested in Accra for allegedly failing to wear a nose mask in contravention of the Executive Instrument E.I164.

They were arrested in the central business district of Accra last Tuesday in a special operation conducted by the operational team from the Railways Police.

The law

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo signed the Executive Instrument (E.I164) which criminalises the failure to wear a nose mask in public.

The law states that those who are found guilty will be fined a minimum of GH¢1,200 or a maximum of GH¢6,000 or will be sentenced to between four and 10 years in prison.

“Operation wear your mask”

Briefing the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Effia Tenge, said the operation dubbed, ‘Operation wear your mask’, was begun at about 11:30a.m. last Tuesday and involved 25 policemen.

She said those arrested were sent to the Railway Police Station.

She said the police took caution statements from each of them after which they were released on bail to report at the police station yesterday.

DSP Tenge explained that the operation was targeted at enforcing the directive on wearing of face masks in the region as part of measures to check the spread of the coronavirus.

“In line with enforcing the law, policemen have been deployed at various points in the region to ensure that all persons moving about have a nose mask on or be sanctioned,” she said.

Background

In his 11th address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis, the President called on the public to make sure they had a nose mask or face covering on when leaving their homes.

He said not having one’s nose and mouth covered in public was now an offence.

“The police have been instructed to enforce this directive, which is the subject of an Executive Instrument,” he said.

In the meantime, pursuant to sections 169 and 170 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act851), the Ministry of Health on April 26, this year, directed the mandatory wearing of nose masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.