Chinese company in Ghana to lock down workers on its premises indefinitely over coronavirus

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A Chinese tile manufacturing company in the Western Region has announced an indefinite lockdown of its employees to protect them against the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Ghana and “minimize transmission risk”.

It said on Saturday that “all access/gates” to the company premises will be locked from Monday, when parts of Ghana are expected to begin a partial lockdown to stop the spread of the virus in the country.

Effective 5:00 p.m. Monday, the company said the workers will be housed in a dormitory on its premises, indicating “groceries and food vendors will be available on Keda premises to serve the needs of staff”

Workers will have to seek prior approval from the company’s managing director to be able to leave the premises once the lockdown takes effect, a management decision contained in a March 28 memo to staff stated.

Although the company, Keda Ghana Ceramics Limited which produces Twyford tiles in Ghana, claimed that the lockdown is voluntary, it has warned any worker who leaves the company’s premises during the lockdown period will not be allowed back.

“Please note, staff who want to leave the premises during the period will have to seek the approval of the managing director. However, any staff who leave the premises during the lockdown would not be allowed back,” the memo warned

The management decision has created confusion in the minds of some of the workers who say the decision is a subtle move by the Chinese company to enslave them under the guise of protecting workers.

For those workers, much clarity is needed on the decision.

But the company has asked the workers “not to panic and should avoid [and also to] dispel rumours”

“We are together and will overcome [the] current challenge facing the county,” management of the production company indicated in the memo.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in his the latest precautionary measure to stem the tide in the virus spread announced a partial two-week lockdown of the Accra metropolitan area, Tema, Kasoa and the Kumasi metropolitan area which have been identified as hotspots for the virus.

During the lockdown which takes effect from 1:00 a.m. Monday, residents in the affected areas will be allowed access to essential services, including shopping for foodstuffs, fuel or power and the use of public toilets

Ahead of the lockdown, hundreds of people in Accra have begun fleeing the city while others stormed shops and markets Saturday to stock up food and other essential supplies they will need during the period.

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