Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the philosophy behind the severity of punishment meted out to offenders for non-wearing of facemasks is to ensure the law is deterrent enough to promote compliance.
The Executive Instrument 164 which has been gazetted requires every Ghanaian to wear facemasks in public and failure to comply with the law would result in a fine between GHC60,000 and GHC120,000, or between four to 10 years imprisonment if you fail to pay the fine.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, responding to concerns expressed by some Ghanaians that the law is too harsh, at a media briefing on Tuesday, admitted that though the law is severe, the motive behind it was to ensure compliance and make it compulsory for everybody to wear facemasks.
The Minister said the law did not discriminate on how it should be applied, adding that, whether it is political, religious or social activities, as well as gender or geographic location, those clothed with the power to enforce the law would apply it accordingly and equally.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said it would serve the interest of Ghanaians better for wearing facemasks and urged everyone to comply with the hygiene and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the contagion.
The Minister said the government is engaging with the Police to provide purposive interpretation to the law-meaning whether one is in or out of his/her private car, the facemask must be worn.
Meanwhile, Ghana has recorded 414 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total tally to 14,568. There are 10,907 recoveries, representing 75 per cent recovery rate, with 3,566 active cases. The death toll has increased from 85 to 95, indicating 10 more deaths since the last update.