Accra goes agog! Mad rush for basic goods, services following lockdown notice

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Barely hours after the official directive from the presidency, indicating restrictions in some parts of the country, many parts of the capital have seen massive human and vehicular traffic.

The reason? Simple! Everybody needs to secure one thing or the other for themselves and their families before the lockdown begins on Monday, March 30, 2020.

In his address to the nation Friday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, directed that people stay home and away from others in some parts of the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Kumasi and Obuasi were marked as lockdown areas whiles places including the Accra Metropolic, Ablekuma and Ayawaso, Tema and Lezokuku in Accra were earmarked as restricted areas by the president.

The president said the police and other relevant authorities will be given new powers to enforce these measures.

Though markets were exempted from these measures, hundreds of Ghanaians are already in various parts of the city, either at the market square or purchasing other services including filling their gas, before the directive takes effect.

In Madina Ashale Botwe for example, Ghanaweb observed queues of persons with various sizes of gas cylinders to fill up their gas. Others were captured by the team’s lenses, purchasing groceries and food items from markets including the Mallam Market in the Ablekuma North municipality.

Of course traders are cashing in, especially with the knowledge that most persons need to stock up for at least the next two weeks.

Meanwhile President Akufo-Addo exempted some organisations, commercial vehicles and food providers from these restrictions.

“During this period, no intercity movement of vehicles and aircraft for private or commercial purposes for the areas affected by the restrictive measures except for vehicles and aircraft providing essential services and those carrying cargo. Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person and all intracity passenger vehicles such as trotros and taxis must reduce the number of passengers in order to observe appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols. Additionally, all commercial vehicle stations shall observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing”.

He also said markets are to ensure social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols.

“In any event, only persons involved in the food value chain can operate in the markets during this period”.

However, he noted, “individuals and institutions providing the following services shall be exempted from the restrictions: members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages; environmental and sanitation activities; staff of VALCO.

Road and railway construction workers, mining workers, fisherfolk, members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties, staff of ECG, GWCL, telcos, e-commerce and digital service providers and staff of fuel stations”.

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