The two-week imposition of restrictions on the movement of persons in some 40 localities in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions to limit the spread of COVID-19 has come into force.
They comprise 26 areas in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), which includes Awutu Senya East, a municipality in the Central Region and 14 in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who announced the stay at home measure under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), said it would be reviewed when deemed necessary.
In a televised address on Friday night to update citizens on the status of the pandemic, the President urged citizens to embrace the elevated measures and collectively fight the pandemic, which has disrupted economic and social life worldwide as a common enemy.
Ghana confirmed its first two cases of the respiratory disease on Thursday, March 12 and has so far recorded 152 positive, five deaths and two recoveries.
The disease has been recorded in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Upper West regions.
However, the majority of cases are in Greater Accra and Ashanti, the busiest of the 16 regions.
The stay at home measures, which took effect at 0100 hours on Monday, were preceded by programmes to encourage preventive behaviour, travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine, ban on public gatherings, closure of schools, among others.
Health authorities say the two week period would provide the opportunity to scale-up effective contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.
Teams will visit the homes of those exposed to the virus and test everyone in their household and beyond.
In spite of the restrictions, which will be enforced by security personnel, people will be allowed to access essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities.
But no inter-city movement of vehicles and aircrafts for private or commercial purposes for the areas of the restrictive measures would be allowed, except for vehicles and aircrafts providing essential services and those carrying cargo.
Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person, and all intra-city passenger vehicles, such as trotros and taxis, will observe social distancing and hygiene protocols by reducing the number of passengers and providing water, soap and sanitizers to them.
The restrictions, however, exclude members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages; and environmental and sanitation activities.
Others are the staff of VALCO; road and railway construction workers; mining workers; fisherfolk; members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties; and the media.
The rest are staff of electricity, water, telecommunications, e-commerce and digital service providers; staff of fuel stations, and persons involved in the food value chain.
In Greater Accra, the following areas will be affected:
Tema West Municipality;
Okaikwei North Municipality;
Ablekuma North Municipality;
Ablekuma West Municipality;
Ablekuma Central Municipality;
Ayawaso East Municipality;
Ayawaso North Municipality;
Ayawaso West Municipality;
Ayawaso Central Municipality
Ga West Municipality;
Ga North Municipality;
Ga Central Municipality;
Ga South Municipality;
Ga East Municipality;
Kpone Katamanso Municipality; and
Awutu Senya East Municipality.
In the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, the following areas are affected:
Old Tafo Municipality;
Asokore Mampong Municipality;
Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality;
Kwabre East Municipality;
Afigya-Kwabre South District;
Atwima Kwanwoma District; and
Atwima Nwabiagya North District.