President Dr. Frank Ankobea of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is warning the National Identification Authority (NIA) to immediately suspend the ongoing mass registration exercise in the Eastern region saying it’s a recipe for disaster because of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID 19).
According to Dr.Ankobea, the social distance the NIA to proposing to Ghanaians to adopt when they converge to the registration center for the identity card.
Speaking in an interview on the Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun, Dr.Ankobea said. “Social distance will work with Ghanaians because, no matter what you do, when they converge to the registration center one will meet old friends and you know how Ghanaians react. So the rules will not be obeyed.”
A statement by the GMA yesterday stated that in the “interest of Public Health and Safety, the GMA calls on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to suspend with immediate effect the ongoing mass registration exercise in the Eastern region.”
According to the GMA, the decision to proceed with the mass registration exercise defeats the spirit and letter of the directives issued by the President as part of measures to combat the COVID-19 spread in the country.
When Dr. Ankobea was asked by Samuel Eshun what informed their decision to issue the warning to NIA said based on surveillance by the members on the ground. “We sent our people to grounds and based on what they told us informed the issuant of the statement.”
He added that “the only thing we the GMA can do is to warn the NIA about the risk involved in this whole registration. We serve the president and minister so we are optimistic that they will act.”
He, however, advised Ghanaians to be patient and obeyed the rules provided by the responsible authority.
The NIA on Monday, March 16, 2020, directed all Supervising Registration Officers (SROs) to allow only twenty-five (25) persons including its officials at a registration center in a given time, Starr News observation in most of the centers in the region indicate that the directive is not being adhered too.
Again, there are no handwashing facilities and sanitizers available for both applicants and registration officials to use exposing them to high risk of being infected.