The Tema Canoe Basin (TCB) has setup a task force to ensure that the protocols to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus are observed at all times within the fishing community.
The members of the task force were drawn from fisher folks operating at the basin and the youth in the community, a Chief Fisherman at the basin, Nii Odamitey, disclosed to the Graphic Business on April 26 in Accra.
He said the sole responsibility of the task force was to support government's efforts to help halt the spread of the virus in the country.
"The task force will executive its mandate by ensuring that the containment protocols on the virus especially wearing of face mask are obeyed and also ensure that no imported case enter the country through the fishing community," he said.
The Minister of Health (MoH) by the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) has directed the wearing of face masks by all and sundry to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Section 170(1) of the Act clothes the Minister with powers to order an individual to take a preventive measure in respect of public health matters.
In pursuant to this, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, issued a statement on Saturday, April 25, directed that the wearing of face masks “in all public places where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing”.
“The general public is encouraged to wear mask or face covering when going out whether sick or not or attending to a sick person. Incorrect use of the face mask carries a high risk of infection.”
Citizens have been advised to clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser before putting on a mask.
They must ensure that the mask fully covers the mouth and nose with no gaps between the face and the mask.
“Avoid touching the mask after you have worn it,” it directed.
In removing the mask, the finger must be used by passing it through the loop behind one ear as a touch of the front of the mask is prohibited. Special kinds of masks have been recommended.
Mandatory face mask
In its quest to support the government's efforts, Nii Odamitey said the basin established the task force to ensure that persons entering the fishing community were wearing a face mask and strictly adhering to the COVID-19 containment protocols.
This, he said would be made mandatory, effective Monday, April 27.
"As a result, we have put a notice of no nose mask, no entry at the entrance of the basin. This formed part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country," he said.
He, therefore, called on the government and other private organisations both local and international to support the fishing community with face masks.
The European Union (EU) under the Far Ban Bo (FBB) project, a fisheries governance project has been supporting the country's fishing sector.
The FBB seeks to protect the livelihood of fishermen and to empower small holder fisheries associations to secure landing sites amongst other interventions.
It is implemented by the Friends of the Nation, CARE and Oxfam and designed to help address the challenges of overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices, including illegal, unreported and unprotected fishing, low compliance and weak capacity for law enforcement within the sector.