Authorities have reopened the Kumasi Central Market under strict rules that must be followed at all times.
The market was closed down following reports that traders were blatantly not adhering to social distancing protocols in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, as part of arrangements made before reopening the market, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the leadership of traders agreed to operate a shift system to avoid overcrowding.
The KMA, in a statement, indicated that the traders would be grouped into three and would be given cards which will show when exactly they are supposed to go to the market.
When Dailymailgh.com visited the market on Thursday there was brisk business activities as some traders had been given cards which showed that they were allowed to operate.
Others who were not given the cards were seen engaging in their trading activities as they said they were yet to receive their cards; a situation which has still resulted in overcrowding at the market.
Afia Serwaa, a petty fish monger, appealed to authorities to ensure proper implementation of the new arrangement to enforce the social distancing protocol.
“They have given us cards that are in colours of red, yellow and green. So today, those of us with the red cards are supposed to come and sell, the other colours also have days allocated to them to come and sell. Our concern is that we want it to be enforced so that we don’t have people coming on days that they are not supposed to be selling so that we can observe the social distancing because the sickness has no mark to identify those who have it,” she told Dailymailgh.com.
“I have not yet gotten the card because we were many, yesterday. They asked us to come for the cards but when we came they did not show up, they have asked us to come again and that is why you see us crowded like that here. Once we have the cards, we will know when we are supposed to come and sell and when we are supposed to stay away. I only want to appeal to the authorities to speed up the process so we don’t stay here for long because we are overcrowded here and it is not helping in the fight against the disease,” another trader who only gave her name as Beatrice said.
Meanwhile, some traders at the area are calling on authorities to intervene as they say they have been prevented to sell at some areas although they have not been properly included in the new arrangement being made.
“They asked us not to sell because we don’t have the cards but they did not give us the cards. They distributed the cards to those selling in the markets but we are selling food and it appears we have been left out. They asked us to divide our selves into groups and sell, we did it but when we cook and come out to sell, the soldiers and the KMA taskforce come here and carry the food to the children home so we are calling on government to add us to the arrangement.”
“We sell by the roadside and we were adhering to the social distancing rule until the traders from the Dr Mensah market were sacked, they came to join us without paying attention to the social distancing rule. Our leaders went to the KMA office and they told them they will not allow us to trade again because of what happened but they will be going back they again. We sell foodstuff and some of them are perishable so we want to plead that they should allow us to sell what we have in stock now so that if they want us to stop coming, we will stop.”
Ghana’s Covid-19 status
Ghana has so far recorded 378 Covid-19 cases with six deaths.
Ashanti Region is the second-highest after Greater Accra with 25 cases. A partial lockdown directive has been imposed in parts of the region as a measure to control the spread of the disease.