Strict adherence to all the COVID-19 safety protocols at work places appears to be a challenge to some staff of public institutions as they engage in “pick and choose”on which of the protocols to observe.
Whilst most of the public institutions displayed notices of “no face masks, no entry” on their doors, right in the offices, most of their staff do not wear face masks even though they interact amongst themselves and clients.
The GNA visited some of these offices in Tamale from 10:45 to 12:45 and when it informed their staff that it was there to learn about how they observed the COVID-19 safety protocols at their offices, they (staff) quickly reached out for their face masks from their tables and bags before responding to the reporter.
The offices visited included; the Registrar General’s Department, Lands Commission, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the National Road Safety Authority.
It was observed that the offices were spacious enough to guarantee social distancing, but staff intermittently got closer to one another, and their tables and door knobs were not sanitised except that they were cleaned in the morning.
From initial two positive cases on March 12, the country’s COVID-19 case count has surpassed 26,000 with 139 deaths, and the Ghana Health Service has said that work places have become hotspots for the spread of the disease in the country.
In line with the President’s recent directives, which states that all must wear face masks at public places, ensure social distancing, wash hands regularly under running water, ensure proper ventilation amongst others to help minimise the spread of the disease.
However, at the Lands Commission, there were six persons at an air-conditioned office attached to the Administrator’s Office at the time of the visit and all of them dropped their face masks on their tables.
When questioned why they were not wearing them, one of them (a male) responded that they had worn them for a while and were getting uncomfortable hence removing them.
He refused to be identified but asked the reporter to speak to the Administrator of the Lands Commission, who could not be located at his office after 30 minutes of waiting for him.
At the Registrar General’s Department, only one out of seven staff, who were in an air-conditioned office attending to a number of clients at the time of the visit, was wearing a face mask.
When GNA demanded to talk to the Regional Director of the Department, his front desk officer, who was also not wearing a face mask, said he was yet to report to work.
At the FDA, out of three staff in an office, which is not air-conditioned, two were not wearing face masks even though they heartily engaged in conversations.
A lady at the office, who briefed GNA on how the COVID-19 safety protocols were being observed at the office, said all staff were conscious and mindful of the safety protocols and were constantly reminded to observe them at the office.
She said the office was fumigated every fortnight and staff supplied with hand sanitisers to keep them safe at all times.
There were five staff on duty at the National Road Safety Authority at the time of the visit and only one of them was wearing face mask at an office, which is not air-conditioned and not well ventilated.
Mr Baba Musah, Programmes Assistant at the National Road Safety Authority said staff were running shift to ensure social distancing, adding they regularly used hand sanitisers to keep safe.
Dr John Eleeza, Northern Regional Director of Health was not happy that some staff at the offices were not wearing face masks even though their institutions distributed face masks to them.
Dr Eleeza commended those, who wore face masks at offices, saying they were protecting themselves and others and advised them to impress on their colleagues to also wear face masks to ensure that all of them were protected at all times at the office.
Superintendent Kwabena Otuo Acheampong, Crime Officer at the Northern Regional Police Command who was in face mask at his office, reminded the citizenry that it was mandatory to wear face masks at public places, and said so far, four people were standing trial at the Circuit Court in Tamale for not wearing face masks at public places.
Superintendent Acheampong urged citizens to be mindful of the law, saying the Police would adopt the hot-stove approach in enforcing the law regarding the wearing of face masks at public places to help fight COVID-19 in the country.
Credit: Source link