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Voter registration: 'Strictly adhere to EC's coronavirus protocols' – Akufo-Addo

Fri, 3 Jul 2020 Source: Class FM

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged eligible voters who go to the polling centres to register for the voter ID card to ensure that they obey all the necessary protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the nation on the eve of the commencement of the registration exercise, President Akufo-Addo reassured all eligible voters of their safety at the 33,327 polling stations across the country, explaining that the Electoral Commission has put in place the necessary, elaborate protocols for the process

“All these protocols should be adhered to strictly”, he admonished.

Additionally, the President said, “I want to remind all Ghanaians that all the other protocols and restrictions, especially those dealing with large gatherings, must be adhered to and enforced at the polling stations at all times”.

“So, let us all abide by them, and conduct ourselves in a manner befitting the image and status of Ghana,” he added.

Meanwhile, all prospective registrants who go to any of the EC’s centres to have their names captured in the voter roll for the 2020 polls would be given chits, as part of measures to ensure all the COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to, the election management body has announced.

In a statement, the EC said: “To further limit and minimin overcrowding, the Commission has introduced the Queue Management System that ensures that applicants are provided with chits”.

“This will ensure that applicants only visit the centres at the times they are allotted”, the statement explained.

“We believe that this will help reduce the overcrowding and queues at the registration centres. We count on the general public to assist the Commission to work to maintain law and order at all the registration centres,” the EC said.

The Commission’s new strategy follows observations by the Ghana Medical Association and other health professionals that the process could end up worsening Ghana’s case count.

On Wednesday, 1 July 2020, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, said persons who breach COVID-19 protocols at registration centres in the ongoing voter registration exercise are adults and should be held responsible for their actions instead of blaming EC Chair Jean Mensa.

Dr Quaicoe’s statement was a reaction to the GMA’s insistence that Mrs Mensa, as the head of the electoral management body, should be held solely responsible for any COVID-19 breaches at the centres.

Speaking to Benjamin Akakpo on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Wednesday, 1 July 2020, the Vice-President of the GMA, Dr Frank Serebour, said it is Mrs Mensa’s job to ensure that her staff observe the protocols to keep Ghanaians safe.

Dr Serebour stated: “She [Jean Mensa] is the head and I believe that it is [on] her authority that the EC officials are working. So, she has to ensure that the right things are done. They must put in place the right things, the right security and all the needed logistics are put in place at the centres”.

“She requested for health personnel, she’s been given; we’ve trained them and given them health personnel to help them, so, we think that every single activity that’s being done is being done under her auspices and she has to make sure that the right people are at the right places, they have the right training and, so, it is her responsibility and I believe that she knows that and that is the reason she held the press conference and she told Ghanaians exactly what was going to happen at the registration centres, so, we think that any breaches that occur at these centres, she should be solely held responsible for those breaches and, so, we stand by that and we think it's her reasonability because after all, she is the head and she has to ensure it happens.”

Speaking on the same show, Dr Quaicoe, however, called on the security personnel at the polling centres to help enforce the safety protocols.

He said: “We’ve come with the modalities, so, we expect the security people to help us to ensure that people observe the protocols. All of us, if we go there and people are not doing the right things, let’s all speak against it. The Electoral Commission does not support people who do not observe the protocols…”

“We’re dealing with adults and they should be held responsible for their actions. The law says that you should wear a mask and the law has law enforcers, so, what we can do is to educate the people. There are laws and when they breach them, people who are law enforcers must make sure they are punished … but like I said, the people who are going to the centres are adults and, so, they should also know that what they are doing has an effect on their own health and those people they get into contact with and I’ll also entreat the security services, they shouldn’t allow people to breach the protocols and go scot-free.”

Meanwhile, Ghana’s COVID-19 case count is now 18,134 after the Ghana Health Service confirmed 393 new cases.

The number of people who have recovered and discharged is 13,550.

Currently, there are 4,467 active cases, as of 1 July 2020.

The death toll is also now 117.

So far, a total of 300,520 tests have been conducted.

Regional breakdown

§ Greater Accra Region – 10,087

§ Ashanti Region – 3,676

§ Western Region – 1,556

§ Central Region – 973

§ Eastern Region – 668

§ Volta Region – 346

§ Upper East Region – 274

§ Northern Region – 137

§ Oti Region – 112

§ Western North Region – 102

§ Bono East Region – 89

§ Savannah Region – 42

§ Upper West Region – 40

§ Bono Region – 18

§ Ahafo Region – 8

§ North East Region – 6

Source: Class FM

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