Keeping markets safe amid COVID-19

One of the fertile areas for the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country is the marketplace.

Apart from the huge number of people who congregate in the markets across the country daily, which is already a worry, observing COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the markets is a major challenge to authorities.

It is in this light that the government has attached a lot of importance to the disinfection and fumigation of markets across the country, and yesterday, launched the second phase of the nationwide market disinfection exercise in Accra.

The first phase was completed in March this year.

The disinfection exercise is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Zoomlion Ghana Limited as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), departments and agencies and aimed at markets, lorry parks and public places in all the regions, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease in the country.

In March when the exercise was carried out, many praised the government for taking the bold step to shut the markets to fumigate and disinfect as part of efforts to curb the deadly pandemic which is wreaking havoc across the world.

Ironically, while efforts were ongoing to protect the people from the virus, many others disregarded what was going on and went about their business not only as usual but also refused to adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols of washing hands under running water with soap, using alcohol-based sanitiser and practising social distance.

Is it surprising, therefore, that the disease continues to spread to the point that it has become necessary for a second phase of the exercise to be carried out to contain the disease.

The point here is that, it is everyone’s responsibility to fight the disease and therefore, it behoves everybody to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols.

Without that, the confirmed cases would keep surging and looking at the behaviour of the disease, it would be difficult to win the fight against it.

We therefore join the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Nii Ashittey to appeal to everyone especially the MMDAs, to take special interest in the second phase of the national disinfection exercise and whip up support for strict adherence to the safety measures.

The spread of COVID-19 in Ghana, is making everyone apprehensive and the only way to win against the disease, first and foremost, is to adhere to the health and safety protocols and to ensure a clean environment.

We also hold the belief that the market, where a lot of people congregate would be much safer if they are kept clean to prevent the outbreak of any sanitation related diseases.

Indeed, if we all consider the exercise as an effort to protect all of us, half the battle could be won.

By all means, let us all put our shoulders to the wheel and support the exercise by adhering to the health and safety protocols particularly, washing hands regularly, using alcohol-based sanitiser and practising social distancing.

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