Major markets in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Area in the Western Region will be closed down on Thursday, 28th May 2020 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the area.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the Assembly, John Laste, the markets are expected to be reopened on June 3, 2020, after a disinfection exercise.
The affected markets include Takoradi Market Circle market, Kojokrom Market, Sekondi Market, Effiakuma Number 9 Market and Jubilee Park Central market.
The Metropolis has so far recorded over 100 cases out of the 334 cases in the Western Region.
John Laste in a Citi News interview said the assembly has been considering the idea for a while but after consultations with market leaders, a consensus was reached that the markets should be temporarily closed.
He said “our metropolis has become a hotspot with regards to the recording to COVID-19 cases and as city authorities, we are concerned ad we are taking a lot of measures to make sure that we take control of the situation,” he said.
“We have been considering this closure since the time we saw our cases going up. Even last week we met the market women and asked them to provide us with a proposal as to how they can ensure social distancing but they themselves said we [needed to] close it. We now want the public to buy from the community markets like Apremdo, and we are going to control the situation to avoid any mad rush purchasing that could cause social distancing problems,” he added.
Addressing the question about how residents would access foodstuff during the period, he said community markets would be allowed to operate however the assembly will be forced to close them down or ensure strict adherence to social distancing rules should it observe that traders are operating under conditions that could spread COVID-19.
“We are also observing the other community markets because closing the major markets, some traders may move to the community markets and as and when they also become congested, they will be advised to close it down or we encourage them to ensure social distancing,” he said.