A bill aimed at giving President Akufo-Addo the powers to impose restrictions on the movement of people to fight the spread of the coronavirus has been passed.
The bill, called the Imposition of Restrictions, offers a direct response to some of the legal issues raised since the President ordered all schools and churches to close down as government contend with the coronavirus outbreak.
The legislation was laid in the House under a certificate of emergency in accordance with Article 21 (4) (c) and (d) of the Constitution, according to reports.
Before the passage, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Friday afternoon criticized the bill, saying the bill had little to do with the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mr Alex Segbefia, a member of the NDC Legal Team, said the party had no objection to the laws that would assist the country to deal with COVID-19, but the bill bears the hallmarks of authoritarian rule.
The party believed that the bill when passed, would give the President broad powers and authority devoid of any checks and balances.
“For a statute which is for a particular purpose, has no time limits for expiration. The proposed law is virtually silent on the well-known and accepted constitutional procedures by which the dignity and freedoms of Ghanaians are protected”.
But the bill was finally passed into law after the third reading on Friday evening.
Coronavirus in Ghana
Ghana over the last nine (9) days has recorded sixteen (16) confirmed Covid-19 cases within its shores. Nearly 500 contact tracing persons have also been identified and are being monitored by health officials.
The President has also issued executive orders that has resulted in the closure of all schools in the country and churches for the next four (4) weeks as well as a ban on public gatherings in the country for the next four weeks.
The country’s borders and ports of entry have also introduced tightened control regimes to prevent imported cases in the country.
According to the official Covid-19 website of the Ghana Health Service, www.ghanahealthservice.org/Covid-19, the global situation on confirmed cases stands at 242092 and over 10,000 persons have lost their lives. Some 84,962 have so far recovered from the coronavirus infection as at 10:00am, 20th of March 2020.