Ghana’s COVID-19 update as at August 30, 2020, showed a drop in the number of active cases from 1,152 to 1,059.
276 persons who tested positive for the virus have passed away, while over 40,000 persons have since recovered from the disease.
Following the consistent fall in the number of active cases, it appears people are beginning to disregard safety protocols on the wearing of face masks, social distancing, and other safety measures meant to curtail the spread of the disease.
A recent survey conducted by the Ghana Health Service showed that only 14.4 percent of the population in the Greater Accra Region wears face masks.
An earlier survey had disclosed that 82 percent of a sampled population in Accra possessed face masks and had the intention to use them. However, out of this number, only 44.3 percent of them use the face mask correctly.
These recent trends are in effect, taking a toll on the patronage of nose masks and hand sanitizers which were in high demand in March when the first cases of the disease were announced.
Some dealers in these products in Accra confirmed a decline in sales to Citi Business News.
“I used to sell the nose masks at GH¢3, GH¢5, GH¢10, and above. People really used to buy. But at the moment, sales have declined. Now that the COVID cases keep coming down, people don’t wear the masks anymore so sales have declined. Currently, the prices have been reduced too. We even sell some for GH¢1 and GH¢2. I sell the masks to people in bulk. Now, the buyers complain a lot. Previously, someone could buy some for more than GH¢100 to sell, but now, everything has come down. I have sold to only two people the whole of today,” Sister Yaa decried.
Another dealer, Auntie Beatrice, also said, “At first, I used to sell the nose masks between GH¢2 and GH¢3. But the patronage has reduced so we have also lowered the price to GH¢1 and GH¢2. The wholesale prices also vary between GH¢30 to GH¢45. The prices are not fixed because there are many others selling the same thing. Now, we don’t get any profit from selling the masks.”
A lady who sells hand sanitizers, Cecelia Aryee, said, “At first, I could sell as much as GH¢500 in a day. But now, in a day, I can only sell about two or three. Some we’ve decided not to sell again. That is the issue. Since the government announced that the trotros should take full capacity, people say they are not afraid of the disease anymore because there is no social distancing in the car so there is no need to protect themselves again. So they don’t buy the sanitizers.”
A Pharmacist, who also confirmed a dip in sales, however said he will not stop selling completely since the disease is still in the system.
“When COVID-19 started, the prices of hand sanitizers shot up, but now, the sale is down because people are used to the washing of hands. Some people are also with the notion that the virus is no more in the system. At times, in about a day or a week, nobody will come and buy sanitizer. I, however, don’t think we should stop selling them now. We all need to protect ourselves from the virus. So we need to keep on selling them to prevent the virus from contaminating other people.”