Markets in the Greater Accra Region will be closed on Monday, March 23, 2020, for a fumigation exercise as part of Ghana’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
This is part of the nationwide disinfection of public spaces to control the virus. There are concerns about how best the country can maintain social distancing in crowded places like the markets and in public transport.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, said this decision was taken in consultation with the traders.
“They have all agreed and I was happy. They all see that there is expediency in the matter and we have to do it quick… in the Greater Accra Region, markets will be closed on Monday,” she said to the media.
Ahead of the fumigation, the Minister engaged in an outreach to the market areas and assured that all districts in the country will be given one hundred containers known as veronica buckets and other hygiene essentials to ensure traders adhere to the precautionary measures announced by government.
She also advised that children are mace to stay away from trading activities in the market during the suspension of academic activities nationwide.
“Our children have been sent home. They are not supposed to go trading in the market so we will communicate that to the market women. We don’t want to go to the market and see children who should be at home trading.”
Hajia Alima said she is satisfied with the cooperation from the traders, and stressed that her outfit “will be carefully in emphasizing on the social distancing.”
Cases in Ghana
The novel Coronavirus cases in Ghana have increased to 16 after five more cases were announced on Friday, March 20.
The five new cases are all in the Greater Accra Region, with some of them considered to be community infections and not imported.
The Greater Accra Region has 13 of the confirmed cases in Ghana with the other three being recorded in the Ashanti Region.
The latest novel coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Ghana Health Service suggest that cases of community spread may have been detected.
One of the five new cases is a 34-year-old woman who was a “contact of a confirmed case at her place of work,” according to the Ghana Health Service.
Another case involves a 29-year-old woman resident of Accra with no history of travel outside Ghana.
Also, a man, aged 53, who is a resident in Tema, who has no history of travel outside Ghana tested positive for the virus.
How is the virus spread?
The virus is spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another, i.e within about 6 feet, and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into one’s lungs.
To prevent the spread, the standard recommendations coming from the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service are regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and social distancing.
People are also advised to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.