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Enforcing safety protocols at centres is our challenge – EC officials

Officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) conducting the voter’s card registration exercise in the Kassena-Nankana Areas have opened up about the challenge they face enforcing the COVID-19 safety protocols at registration centres.

 They say, even though, the Commission has made available all what is needed to ensure the safety of persons who visit the centres to register, people simply do not regard the safety protocols.

 The officials, who opened up to GhanaWeb’s Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro, on grounds of anonymity when he visited some centres in the Navrongo and Paga areas on the first day of the nationwide exercise, also blamed the huge turnout for their inability to ensure strict adherence to the preventive measures.

 When questioned why people were allowed to gleefully break safety protocols at his centre, an official said, “we have all the items in place as you can see but even with that, apart from the hand washing which everyone arriving is asked to do, none of the other safety protocols is adhered to especially the social distancing and wearing of nose masks. Some people simply don’t care”.

 “Apart from those within the restricted area, we can’t control those outside. You tell them and they comply but the next minute they are standing close to each other again. But when they see the police patrol team they comply small”.

 Another official told our Reporter when the same question was put to her.

ALSO READ Voters register: Security in Northern region satisfactory – Police commander

Visit to the centres

At the centres GhanaWeb visited, there were barricaded spaces for those who had successfully joined the registration process.

 Seats were placed for registrants acknowledging the one-metre distancing protocol. There were ‘veronica buckets’ filled with water and soap and people were compelled to wash their hands properly before joining the queue.

 The maximum time it took a person to successfully go through the registration process and have their voter’s card varied from centre to centre but was between 5 – 10 minutes.

 Most of the centres recorded huge turnout on the first day. People arrived at the centres as early as 4am.

 Majority of those who were yet to join the registration process flouted the social distancing protocol by sitting and standing close to each other. A lot more failed to wear nose masks but officials took no action against them – they looked on.

 The process run smoothly with no discrepancies and technical challenges.

 Personnel of the Ghana Police Service were present at all the centres visited to ensure calm.

Source: Ghanaweb

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