Prime News Ghana

Accra: 40 face 10 years in jail after being arrested for failing to wear face masks

By Mutala Yakubu
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Some 40 persons have so far been arrested for non-compliance with the mandatory wearing of face mask directive.

This was after an Operations Team of Railways Police Command in Accra embarked on an ‘Operation Wear Your Mask’ within the Central Business District, Kantamanto and its environs on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Effia Tenge said, the persons have been granted bail.

“The railway operational team yesterday [Tuesday] embarked on ‘operation wear your mask’ in the Central Business District of Accra. This was part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 where people are mandated to put on their face masks any time they go into the public space. 40 persons in all were arrested at the end of the operation. They were brought to the police station and various caution statements were taken from them, after which they were granted bail to report on 24th June for further action to be taken on them.”

During President Akufo-Addo's 12th COVID-19 address he made the wearing of face masks mandatory, and has through an Executive Instrument asked the police and law enforcement agencies to lead its enforcement.

READ ALSO: Persons who fail to wear face mask could be jailed for 10 years - Oppong Nkrumah

People who fail to wear face masks in public risk a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine ranging from GHS12,000 to GHS60,000, or both.

The new sanctions for not wearing face masks are contained in a new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164).

But many have, however, questioned the terms and conditions under which the law and its corresponding sanctions will be applied without infringing on individual rights and liberties.

Aside from the perceived harshness of the law, concerns have been raised about the definition of a public place and if, for example, a person should wear a mask whilst in his or her car alone.

But the government has defended the move, insisting that the current sanctions for not wearing face masks are in order to protect the ordinary Ghanaian from contracting the virus.

Ghana has so far recorded 14,568 COVID-19 cases with 10, 907 recoveries.

95 people have so far perished according to the Ghana Health Service last update on June 23, 2020.