Trading activities in 137 markets in Accra came to a halt on Monday to pave way for a disinfection exercise as part of government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Ghana has already recorded 247 cases with two deaths, and the cases are expected to go up.
Operators of public transport, such as taxis and mini buses, known as Trotro, who say the coronavirus has affected their business due to the limited movement of people, lamented the impact of Monday’s exercise.
The Local Government and Rural Development Minister took the decision last Friday, to disinfect all major markets in the country starting from Greater Accra.
In the Greater Accra Region, 137 markets were listed to undergo the process.
While majority of traders complied with the directive to stay away from the market, a few traders were found flouting the directive.
They however had no choice but to close immediately the exercise begun.
Specifically within the Accra Metropolis, the exercise was closely monitored by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, who was hopeful it will go a long way to curtail the spread of COVID 19 at the various markets.
“Teams have been deployed to fumigate the markets. The teams were deployed in the military camp, that’s Burma Camp; so at least you can appreciate the seriousness of the exercise. By this we are positive the spread of the virus will be curtailed” he stated.
The exercise also affected other unrelated businesses such as banks.
Financial institutions such as GCB Bank closed down some of its branches located close to some of the affected markets to business.
MTN Ghana also closed down some of its offices due to the exercise.
The Registrar-General’s Department, which closed to the business community due to the fumigation exercise at selected markets in Accra including the Tema Station Market, said the decision was to protect the health of both staff and clients who patronize its services.
The affected businesses are however expected to reopen on Tuesday by which time the Accra markets fumigation would have ended.
Some commercial drivers told Citi Business News the disease has already slowed down their business due to limited movements of people.
They’re however hopeful the fumigation exercise will be useful in the fight against the spread of the disease.
“Our business has been halted so we want them to fumigate the market quickly so that we can continue with our work. This virus has brought a lot of complications so we want the government to provide us with gloves and hand sanitizers to keep in our vehicles for our passengers to use.”
Another driver said “We are not getting passengers that’s why we have parked the car”
“We don’t mind the low patronage because it is just for a day. On Tuesday, things will be back to normal so I urge us all to support AMA to do this to protect us from this virus.”