Upper East: NIA Officials Ignore Safety Protocols; Registrants Fear Of Contracting Covid-19
The National Identification Authority (NIA) officials carrying out the ongoing mob-up registration exercise in the Upper East Region are not enforcing the social distancing protocols at the various registration centers in the region.
When ModernGhana News visited some centres in the Bawku West, Bawku and the Tempane District specifically Bugri most of all the applicants were not wearing nose masks. As for regular handwashing and hand sanitising, it has been thrown to the dogs.
At Zebilla in the Bawku West District, the NIA registration centre which is about 25metres away from Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at Aramkoliga electoral area, there was total disregard for social distancing as large crowds gathered to register for their cards. Registrants were in a long queue without nose masks. Others who had their nose masks refused to put it on. The excuse was that they sometimes remove it to take in fresh air while others complain of difficulty in breathing.
Speaking with Modern Ghana news, a resident of Zebilla, Awini Abugri, said he brought his father to be registered but immediately he got to the centre, the place was choked with no breathing space.
"If only the virus they are talking about is actually real then I don't think all these people in this centre will be spared. Look at how it is, are we in a funeral grounds? Or we are in normal times? he quizzes.
Another resident of the area, Apambilla Ayaripoaka, described the exercise as boring, adding she and her daughter has been at the centre for three days but there was no easy access for them to register.
According to her, the entire process is very slow.
She said the NIA officers at the centre were trying their best to make sure everybody observe the protocols but it was not possible due to the increasing numbers. "Some are not wearing nose mask and they will not also wash their hands to join the line," she lamented.
At Bugri in the Tempane District, the story was not different, registrants were seen not observing the physical distancing and not also wearing nose mask.
The residents said most of the people in the communities will be disenfranchised if the number of NIA officials are not increased in the districts or perhaps the number of days.