The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has said the Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, should be held solely accountable for any COVID-19 breaches at the registration centres as the election management body undertakes its voter registration exercise across the country.
On Tuesday, 30 June 2020, the first day of the exercise, it was observed that prospective registrants breached social distancing protocols at the centres.
Speaking to Benjamin Akakpo on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Wednesday, 1 July 2020, the Vice-President of the GMA, Dr Frank Serebour, said it is Mrs Mensa’s job to ensure that her staff observe the protocols to keep Ghanaians safe.
Dr Serebour stated: “She [Jean Mensa] is the head and I believe that it is [on] her authority that the EC officials are working. So, she has to ensure that the right things are done. They must put in place the right things, the right security and all the needed logistics are put in place at the centres”.
“She requested for health personnel, she’s been given; we’ve trained them and given them health personnel to help them, so, we think that every single activity that’s being done is being done under her auspices and she has to make sure that the right people are at the right places, they have the right training and, so, it is her responsibility and I believe that she knows that and that is the reason she held the press conference and she told Ghanaians exactly what was going to happen at the registration centres, so, we think that any breaches that occur at these centres, she should be solely held responsible for those breaches and, so, we stand by that and we think it's her reasonability because after all, she is the head and she has to ensure it happens.”
Weeks before the registration, a group of healthcare practitioners noted that conducting a mass voter registration exercise while the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic will result in more deaths from the disease.
In an open letter to the EC, the practitioners, made up of medical doctors, nurses, laboratory professionals and other allied health personnel, expressed worry that the exercise will promote the gathering of people in a manner that will undermine the principles of social distancing and facilitate the community spread of the disease.