Traders dealing in facemasks in Tamale are recording low sales and fear losing their livelihoods just days after the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared wearing of facemasks as not mandatory anymore in the country.
Some traders who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale expressed fears of low sales since the announcement to call off the wearing of the facemask with immediate effect.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of his 28th address to the nation on measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, lifted restrictions including wearing of facemasks in the country.
Madam Mary Bema, a trader, who deals solely in facemasks, hand sanitisers and toiletries, said she foresaw her livelihood threatened if residents decide not to wear facemasks at all.
She said she depended entirely on sales from the shop, adding, any unpleasant change could affect her basic needs.
She mentioned that most of her customers saw wearing of facemasks as punishment as they complained anytime they bought from her, adding, “So, making its use optional will not favour sellers.”
Mr Emmanuel Opoku Sarpong, who sells hard wares in Tamale, said he added facemasks to his wares in the earlier days of the pandemic and made good sales until last year when it began dropping.
He said, “I know my sales will reduce some more because wearing it is no longer mandatory. I have a few left to sell but I want to get some more to sell before more people realise it is not compulsory.”
Hajia Mariam Inusah, a one-time face shield seller, said reduction in face shield sales in 2020 was a big blow to her business, adding that she envisages huge losses should members of the public decide not to patronise them as they used to.
Traders have raked in big fortunes from the sale of facemasks, sanitisers and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) since the country recorded Covid 19 in March 2020.