The Ho Central Market in the capital of the Volta Region will from Monday, April 13 be closed to the public as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The closure which will fall on a market day, will be replicated on every other market day which is the fifth day counting from the last market day.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yaw Letsa made the announcement in Ho during a one-day training programme for selected journalists on “Reporting On COVID-19”.
The workshop was funded by the USAID was facilitated by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
Dr. Letsa said the Ho Municipal Assembly, headed by Prosper Pi-Bansah have had to take such decision due to the reluctance of traders and other users of the market to adhere to the social distancing directive.
A statement released by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Prosper Pi-Bansah noted that the 'market day' closure will be used for general cleaning starting from the next market day which falls on Monday, April 13, 2020.
The Ho market, like many markets in the region and in many parts of the country apart from operating every day, have days that are referred to as 'market days'. On this day, there are a lot of food items and traders from far and near making cost of food and groceries cheaper.
The abundance and large variety of food items also attracts large crowds far more than the normal market days.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana several measures have been taken to curb the spread, one of them is social distancing, however due to the sheer numbers on market days, social distancing has become impossible in a country where over 300 people have been infected with COVID-19.
Dr. Letsa said a similar measure has been employed at the Kpando market due to the same reason of not adhering to social distancing adding that, they will not hesitate to close other markets that refuse to adhere to social distancing.
He also commended the media for their consistent support to the regional administration and the various Municipalities and Districts in sensitising and equipping the public with adequate information to fight COVID-19.
He also urged the media not to entertain rumours because “I, the regional Minister will be the one to announce if any one tests positive to COVID-19. Any other information on a positive novel corona virus case that does not come from me is fake news.”