Traders in Accra disregard COVID-19 protocols

Customers peruse goods at Makola market in Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2015.Francis Kokoroko/File Photo
Customers peruse goods at Makola market in Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko/File Photo

Traders in some parts of Accra have discontinued the wearing of nose masks and use of hand sanitizers, which formed part of government’s safety directives during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Monday some of the traders expressed doubts about the existence of COVID-19.

They said the disease no longer existed as they had not seen anyone who had contracted it and had also not witnessed any death associated with it.

Some traders, mostly at Makola, Tema Station, Tudu, Railways Station, and Kantamanto within the Central Business District of Accra, said they had stopped using sanitizers and wearing nose masks because they did not believe that the virus existed.

Madam Janet Akese, a bread seller at Tema Station, said: “I stopped wearing the nose mask for a long time now because I have only heard of the coronavirus but I’ve never seen anybody contracting it so I don’t believe it exists”.

Madam Jennifer Karl, a nose mask vendor at Accra Kingsway, said sales had dropped for the past three months as most people now claimed the COVID-19 was no more.

Madam Esther Sam, a cosmetic shop attendant at Kantamanto, said people moved in and out of her shop without practicing social distancing and did not have their nose masks on but none of them, however, had not contracted the disease so she did not believe its existence.

Mr Kwabena Raymond, a coconut seller at Railways Station, said he only wore the nose masks for fashion and not because of COVID-19.

Meanwhile some civil and public servants at the Ministries have expressed concern about the recent non-wearing of nose masks and called on the National Commission for Civic Education and Information Services Department to reactivate the public advocacy programmes, especially at the markets, to sensitise the people on the dangers of contracting the virus.

The Ghana News Agency also observed that some institutions, including banks, shops, and other customer oriented bodies have relaxed the adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.

Some only displayed the veronica buckets in front of their offices without water nor soap, having no record of people entering and exiting or checking their temperatures.
Meanwhile Ms Josephine Nkrumah, the NCCE Chairperson, have reiterated a call for the public to wear their masks to stay safe of the virus.

“Let’s comply with COVID-19 protocols as the future of Ghana is in our hands. Let’s come together to work, educate and caution all to stay safe from COVID-19. It is a collective responsibility, which would lead to the eventual stoppage of the pandemic,” she said.

Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, the NCCE Deputy Chairman, said in view of the emerging threat, the Commission would deepen awareness in terms of visibility to lower the complacency some people exhibited in adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.

“We need some level of enforcement to serve as deterrent to those who think that the disease does not exist…We need to learn lessons from other countries who really thought they had won the battle only to have a second wave. We do not want to encounter that in Ghana,” he said.

“The COVID-19 is real, I encountered it in my office, I went into self-isolation and so nobody should be complacent, we should all observe the preventive protocols”.


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