Prices of nose masks are increasing drastically following the re-opening of schools on Friday, January 15, 2021.
A box of children’snose masks that cost GH₵25 has now increased to GH₵100 in some parts of Accra.
This follows President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 22nd televised address to the nation on Sunday, January 17, 2021, demanding a mandatory wearing of nose masks by students and the general public.
He expressed worry that there had been an upsurge in active cases from 900 to 1,924 within two weeks with confirmed deaths now at 352, while severe cases had surged, hence a call on students to wear nose masks at all times.
“I am pleading with you, please observe the COVID-19 protocols at all times. You must maintain the level of discipline and sense of responsibility to stop the virus from spreading in your schools and, for day students, at home, as well.
“Wear your masks at all times. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly. Protect yourself. Protect each other. Protect your teachers. Protect your parents. But, please, do not give me a reason to close down schools again,” President Akufo-Addo said.
A visit by theGhanaian Times to some parts of markets in Accra andKwame Nkrumah Circle revealed that prices of nose masks for children have seen a spike with some traders selling them between GH₵50 and GH₵100 with the least price as GH₵35.
Comfort Asumani, seller of children nose masks, in Accra, explained that the demand for masks since the re-opening of schools was high, and it was leading to shortage in supply.
She said traders were not getting nose masks to buy from distribution outlets, hence the surge in price.
“The products are on high demand and wholesale prices from producers have been increased so we have no choice but to increase the prices to consumers,” MsAsumanisaid.
The re-opening of basic schools after about 10 months of closure as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19follows a directivebyPresident Akufo-Addo on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
He directed that students at all levels of education to return to schools as part of the government’s strategic efforts to ease the COVID-19 induced restrictions on educational activities.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the challenges that surfaced when children were directed to study at home at the peak of the pandemic in the country, and said it caused huge restrain on not only students but parents.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE