Economic life in Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti Region took a break yesterday as a result of the disinfection of 286 markets to improve public health in the midst of the coronavirus spread.
Accordingly, the usual hustle and bustle of traders, shoppers, head porters, commercial drivers, commuters, food vendors and even beggars in the various Central Business Districts were curtailed to pave the way for the exercise.
These turn of events reduced human and vehicular gridlock that is characteristic of markets at Kejetia Central, Race Course, Bantama, Suame, Manhyia and others across all 43 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the region.
Initiated by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as part of a national response to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the exercise which started in the Greater Accra Region on Monday was carried out by waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited of the Jospong Group of Companies.
Hundreds of Zoomlion personnel equipped with various spraying machinery containing chlorine solution, were deployed across the region before 6a.m. for the disinfection that lasted for over five hours.
Aside stores and stalls, bus terminals, streets, open drains, public places of convenience and open spaces, dumpsites, amongst others, were disinfected. The Suame Magazine which is the largest auto-mechanic industrial hub in the region was not left out.
The Ghanaian Times observed that, traders had adhered to the full market closure directive by the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and MMDAs to shop owners to close their shops and petty traders to cover their wares.
Security personnel, mainly from the Ghana Armed Forces as well as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were on location to enforce law and order.
While the exercise was underway, information vans announced precautionary measures through loud speakers to educate the residents who gathered in balconies and by roadside to observe the exercise that had restricted their movement.
Some traders including one Madam Owusua Kwakye hailed the exercise saying it would make the markets more hygienic.
For her, although traders would lose money as a result of the exercise, it was in their own interest.
Interacting with journalists at the onset of the exercise, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive, Osei Assibbey Antwi said the exercise would go a long way to improve sanitary conditions in the area.
He urged the public to adhere to precautionary measures as the government implemented other measures to curtail the spread of the virus that had, as of Thursday, killed three with 132 infected persons.
The MCE, together with the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Augustine Collins Ntim led a team to inspect the exercise.
Brisk business activities are expected to bounce back, today.
PHOTOS BY VINCENT