Traders at the Kotokoraba Central Business District (CBD) in the Cape Coast Metropolis have hailed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive to the security agencies to enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Ensuring strict adherence and compliance of the safety protocols, they maintained, remained the surest way to reduce the recent resurgence of the deadly virus across the country.
President Akufo-Addo in his 22nd broadcast to the nation on Ghana’s Enhanced Response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Sunday, January 17, directed the police and other security services to collaborate and strictly enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols.
This followed an upsurge in the number of active cases, coupled with the discovery of new variants of the pandemic in the Country.
He told the security agencies to particularly enforce the wearing of nose masks in public and other related directives, while the regulatory agencies would undertake random checks to ensure conformity with COVID-19 rules.
However, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed a blatant disregard for the COVID-19 safety protocols across the market.
Most of the business offices, shops, sellers and buyers were seen engaging in brisk business activities without nose masks while social distancing and was also not being observed.
Hand washing facilities were either absent or had no water or tissue as most of the shops had removed the veronica buckets in front of their shops.
Quite a number of the shoppers and traders were using their handkerchiefs as nose masks while others had them on their chins, pockets or around their necks as they lamented about the poor sales with little or no concern at all about COVID-19 protocols.
For here, it is alarming to see traders do brisk business as usual without nose masks and regard for social distancing protocols says.
Madam Diana Andoh, a fishmonger, said “many of the traders here believe the pandemic is a disease for the rich or ‘whiteman’s disease’ which is far from them”.
Nonetheless, wearing her surgical mask to match her blue jeans and white top, Madam Andoh advised all to strictly adhere to the safety protocols adding that “the efforts of the government and all the stakeholders to ensure the safety of Ghanaians may go waste if people remained adamant to strict adherence to the safety protocols.
Drenched in sweat under the scorching sun, Mr Samuel Antobam, a dealer in mobile phones and accessories said, the posture of the public was causing a gradual rise in active cases, and warned that if care was not taken, the nation would see a major rise soon.
He expressed concern about how some traders allowed their children to play on heaps of mounting garbage on the shoulders of roads, streets and open spaces in the mist of crowded people – making them susceptible to the virus.
Mr Stephen Ofori-Asiamah, a taxi driver, said Ghanaians will have themselves to blame if they take things for granted despite the measures put in place by government and bemoaned the failure of many people to comply with the measures.
“The health workers and government are doing their best to save lives with multifaceted approaches, yet people still remain adamant and take this for granted – playing with their lives,” he stressed.
Other traders and shoppers urged all to maintain the level of discipline and sense of responsibility to stop the virus from spreading.
“All should wear masks at all times; wash and sanitise your hands regularly, protect yourself, protect each other, protect your teachers, protect your parents and Ghana at large,” the traders emphasised.