Two citizens have sued the National Identification Authority (NIA) over the mass registration and issuance of the Ghana card to Ghanaians in the Eastern Region amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The plaintiffs, Kevow Mark-Oliver and Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah argue in their writ that the continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card in the Eastern Region has a strong tendency in “aggravating the spread of the coronavirus”.
They are among other things seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining the NIA from continuing with the exercise until the coronavirus has been eliminated.
They are of the view that “the 1st Respondent’s continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card violates the Applicants’ right to good health since the registration exercise exposes Applicants to a high risk of contracting the coronavirus.”
“That the 1st Respondent’s continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card violate the presidential directives. That the 1st Respondent’s continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card violate the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, 2020,” excerpts of the writ said.
The NIA earlier this week said it will continue with the Ghana Card registration despite the misgivings from some of its officers because of the novel coronavirus.
The Authority released guidelines for its officers in line with the government’s new directives on public gatherings to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
Some NIA officers who had reached out to Citi News anonymously expressed concern about the absence of protective measures.
They say a single registration centre can be visited by 200 to 300 people a day seeking the Ghana Card.
New NIA preventive protocol impractical – Africa Centre for Health Policy
Earlier, the Director of Advocacy and Research at the Africa Centre for Health Policy, Ignatius Terrence Nnubeng, described the protocols by the National Identification Authority put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Eastern Region as impractical.
According to Mr. Nnubeng, it is safer to suspend the ongoing mass registration exercise for the Ghana Card adding that, the NIA should not prioritize the exercise over the lives of Ghanaians.
“These are great measures but they are theoretical because you cannot practice them. If you have been to a registration centre, you will find so many people sitting together on one bench so how do you expect them to observe these measures. Aside from that, you yourselves have placed it in your statement that you have not been able to procure the things for them and you will still want them to go ahead and do this, how is this possible? In the first place, the scanners they are using need to be disinfected after every single use and so, in this case, I think they should actually suspend it and wait for this whole thing to subside.”