Security personnel have been deployed to Obuasi in the Ashanti Region to maintain order following attempts by residents to resist the siting of a COVID-19 isolation centre there.
The security deployment comes after persistent protests by the residents of Abusco and Akaporiso, both suburbs of the community, who wanted the isolation centre to be relocated over fears that it will potentially put them at risk of contracting the virus.
However, health authorities have gone ahead to set up the centre amidst heavy security presence.
Currently, Obuasi is the district with the highest number of cases in the Ashanti region as 272 new cases have been recorded, in addition to the initial 48 cases.
District Chief Executive (DCE) for Obuasi East, Faustina Amissah, urged the residents to support the decision because it was for their own good.
“The figures that are coming out are not an exaggeration. They are real, but there is hope. People can still stay at home and observe the protocols and stay safe. Some of them have been infected, we want to isolate them so that the health workers will monitor and give them better treatment so they do not spread the virus.
“So I am pleading with those who are resisting that they should not because you can’t foretell if their close contacts are infected or not. So if they resist, they may stay in the same house with positive persons. So I am pleading with everyone to compromise so that at the end of the day, we will all stay and have a life after everything is done.”
On his part, leader of the COVID-19 response team in Obuasi, Dr. Kwadwo Nyarko Asamoah, proposed stricter enforcement of the precautionary measures to reduce the rate of infections in the area.
“Compliance has become quite difficult. That is why some of us are calling for stricter enforcement of the measures. So, we are going to have a lot of enhancement of all the protocols in the country. Enforcing it means we are going to step on a few toes. Obuasi has even overdone risk communication; we have done more than our fair share, so enforcement is what we need to do.”
The Obuasi township in the Ashanti Region recorded an alarming jump in COVID-19 cases with 272 new infections.
This accounted for the Ashanti Region almost doubling its number of infections which rose from 355 to 667.
Though a detailed breakdown was not given, indications are that most of the cases were at the Obuasi Central Market which has since been closed.
Wawase and Asonkore also recorded cases in Obuasi.
Because of this update, 40 teams of contact tracers had been deployed in Obuasi to mop up the cases and isolate persons who test positive for the Coronavirus disease.
Residents live in fear
Meanwhile, some residents say they are gripped with fear following the recent increase in the numbers.
“I am really scared here because of the high number of cases. Most residents here are not adhering to the preventive measures. This is also a cause to worry. Most of us do not also believe that the virus is real. So we are asking authorities to take us to some of the infected persons for confirmation. Until then, people will still be reckless,” one resident told Citi News.
Another resident said: “fear has gripped most of us because we did not believe that a small community like ours would record more cases. We didn’t know things will be this serious that is why most of us failed to do what the health authorities told us.”
Even residents, who believe the siting of the centre there may expose them to the disease seem concerned about the rise in the number of cases.
“People were going around their normal duties because they felt they could not be infected. But, now that we have some cases here, I am terrified”, one man said.