A driver and two occupants of a private vehicle have been arrested for driving over the foot of the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Henry Kuofie, while he was on the streets monitoring and enforcing Covid-19 protocols.
Mr Kuofie has been leading the Effia-Kwesimintsim Covid-19 Taskforce – since it was set up – moving around the municipality monitoring and enforcing protocols on the deadly disease.
On one of their usual monitoring and enforcement exercise at the No. 9 Traffic Light at Effia, the taskforce saw three people in a vehicle without nose masks.
“So, we signaled them to stop and asked them why they were not in a nose mask. Their responses were not convincing so we asked them to alight. Normally when the team sees you without a nose mask in a car, you are made to alight and given a shovel to desilt any drain nearby after which you are made to buy a nose mask on the spot and wear. But for those who are intransigent, we hand them over to the police. Perhaps, the three people in the car had seen people around desilting drains for not wearing nose masks and so they told us that they will not alight,” he narrated on Connect FM’s Orekodo Kasie Bo.
He continued: “We insisted but they also resisted. So, in the course of the exchanges, the driver attempted to speed off and unfortunately run over my foot. I was immobilized instantly.”
Mr. Kuofie added that the driver and the two occupants were immediately arrested and sent to the Takoradi Central Police Station.
“…it has been close to 10 days since the incident happened. I heard that they have been granted bail but I don’t know under what condition. All I want is for them to be sent to court so as to serve as a deterrent to other motorists who decide to be stubborn when they are caught [for] not adhering to the Covid-19 protocols. But as I speak the culprits have still not been processed for court.”
He added: “This is very discouraging as the seemingly lethargic position taken by the police is inexcusable. We risk our lives moving from one place to the other ensuring that we are all doing what is expected of us so that we can all be safe from the coronavirus. In doing so, we also put our lives at risk. So, when someone commits an offence and there is no corresponding punishment then it means we don’t appreciate the work that we do and that we are risking our lives for nothing. Why then will people not have the temerity to do what they do when the law appears selective?”
So far, the taskforce has arrested 106 residents for violating protocols on COVID-19.
Six of them, who were intransigent, have been arraigned before the High Court. The rest were made to desilt drains close by and, after, purchase a nose mask on the spot to wear.
Henry Kuofie said the taskforce will continue to work until such a time when “we have seen that the compliance level has increased significantly”.
“As you are aware the regional health directorate conducted a survey on nose mask wearing practices in Sekondi-Takoradi and Effia-Kwesimintsim. In all the seven separate bus terminals and markets surveyed, Effia-Kwesimintsim performed poorly. That means we have to step up our monitoring exercise and we are going to do just that.”
He said that the taskforce will be embarking on a series of unannounced visitations to “the markets and bus terminals where it is clear that there is a huge challenge, arrest and punish people”.
COVID-19 case count
At the last count, the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly had recorded four deaths due to Covid-19 complications.
One thousand nine hundred and eleven [1,911] samples have been taken, out of which 1,257 have tested negative with 517 testing positive. One hundred and thirty-seven of the samples are pending.
A total of 468 of the positive cases have been discharged. There are 45 active cases.