All markets within the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in the Western Region will on Monday, April 6 be closed for a disinfection exercise.
Two of the markets – Takoradi Market Circle and Sekondi Market will, however, be closed to the public on Sunday, April 5, 2020, at 12 noon to enable officials of the Ghana National Fire Service to flush all drains ahead of the planned disinfection exercise.
The exercise forms part of the government's program to disinfect all markets and other public areas across the country following the recorded cases of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Regular market activities are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
“The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly will on Monday, April 6, 2020 close down the Takoradi Market Circle, Sekondi, Kojokrom and other community markets to business activities for disinfection spraying exercise. The exercise is expected to cover all the markets and other public areas such as transport terminals, events ground, drains and others,” a release from the Metropolitan Assembly announced.
A total of 125 sprayers are expected to undertake the exercise which will commence simultaneously in all the markets at 6 am.
Sellers of food-related items have been advised to move their wares to safer locations or properly cover them with strong polythene or rubber materials to avoid contaminations.
Assembly converts Takoradi Jubilee Park into market centre
Even before this announcement, the Sekodi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly converted the Takoradi Jubilee Park into a market as a measure to enforce social distancing at the Takoradi Market Circle.
It follows fears of a possible spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the congested market.
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metro Director of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), James Obeng, speaking to Citi News said the assembly did not have any choice but to decongest the overcrowded inner perimeter of the Market Circle.
“The place [Takoradi Jubilee Park] is more convenient than the market centre. Here [Takoradi Jubilee Park] the women who are selling are not attacking each other. Also, individuals buying are not forcing their way through the market. So this is more convenient as we have electricity or street lights available.”
But some traders who were moved to the Takoradi Jubilee Park complained about low sales due to lack of publicity.
COVID-19 and market disinfection
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is spearheading a disinfection exercise in collaboration with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) countrywide to ensure the success of the exercise.
The exercise began in the Greater Accra region on Monday 23 March 2020 with the disinfection of 137 markets.
The second disinfection exercise was undertaken within parts of the Ashanti Region and Kumasi on March 27, 2020.
The exercise was repeated in markets within the Ahafo, Bono and Bono East on March 30, 2020.
On April 1, 2020, 110 markets in the Upper West Region were disinfected.
A team of sprayers also had arrived in the North East Region to disinfect 57 markets on April 1, 2020.