Persons in the Ho Municipality who refuse to wear nose masks are made to pay a spot fine of GH¢20.
The culprits are also handed a nose mask after paying the fine as part of measures to enforce adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols and also reduce infection of the virus.
The fine which is in accordance with the current Fee Fixing Schedule of Assembly Bye Laws is a creative alternative to the arrest of culprits without nose masks. By Executive Instrument, not wearing a nose mask constitutes an offence and the Police in some parts of the country arrest and prosecute culprits.
In the Ho Municipality, the sport fine which has received nationwide commendation is an intensified directive which was originally decreed in June last year (2020), when the adherence to the safety protocols was at its crescendo nationwide.
As the months went by the entire country, including the Ho Municipality let their guard down and ignored the safety protocols as the number of active cases reduced drastically.
Unfortunately, the repercussion of not adhering to the safety protocols has seen a hike in infections nationwide, with the Ho municipality which at a point had no active case now having over a 100 active cases.
It is for this reason that he Ho Municipal Assembly reconstituted the Covid-19 Safety Protocols Task force who commenced their operations on February 1, 2021.”
A statement signed by the acting Municipal Chief Executive, Prosper Pi-Bansah noted that the task force is among other things expected to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols in schools, places of worship, markets and other public places.
Although the Assembly announced a spot fine on those who refused to adhere to the safety protocols; thus not wearing nose masks in public, the first three to four days were used for warnings and sensitisation of offenders.
Officials of the Assembly are unable to say the number of residents who have so far been fined. Nonetheless, wearing of nose masks in public has increased considerably after some culprits shared their experience of the spot fine on radio and among their close contacts.
The Assembly has also been working with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Information Services Department (ISD) to step up public education.
Ghana is currently experiencing a new wave of the pandemic which according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) case management update on Saturday, February 6, 2021, has claimed 449 lives.
791 new confirmed cases of the virus have also been recorded, raising active cases 6,095 with the total confirmed cases being 70,046, with clinical recoveries around 63,502.