Shoppers Troop To Markets For Fear of Lockdown Over COVID-19 Outbreak

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Some people last Monday trooped to some markets in Accra to buy commodities and food items in anticipation of a possible lockdown of the country in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This comes on the heels of a directive by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Sunday banning all public gatherings with immediate effect, following six confirmed cases of the virus in the country since Saturday, March 14, 2020.

The directive also included a ban on all church services and other religious events, weddings and funerals.

Universities and senior high and basic schools, both public and private, were also asked to close down, effective Monday March 16, 2020, till further notice.

Rationale

Some of the shoppers told the Daily Graphic that they were stocking up because they did not want to be caught unaware, given what had happened in other countries.

“We have seen on television how the disease has spread and how essentials are running out in most supermarkets in affected countries. I don’t want to be caught in any panic situation when we are also asked to stay at home eventually.

“In addition, I have two children in SHS and two in the university and they are all home until further notice. Also, I have some nieces and nephews coming over for the period that schools have been closed.

Since we don’t know what is going to happen, I have to stock up, so that at least there will be enough food at home,” a female shopper who did not want to be named explained.

Another shopper, Ms Stella Essiam, said she was buying the items because she did not want to be frequenting the market in the coming weeks, since there was the possibility of more restrictions on gatherings and movements.

For her part, Eunice, who was in a mask when she was seen busily buying foodstuffs, said she was a regular shopper who went to the market almost every week.

“But it will no longer be the same after today. I already did some shopping yesterday. Today’s shopping is a top up to enable me to stock my shelves for some weeks,” she added.

A fresh fish seller at Makola, Ms Elizabeth Lomotey, said sales were very good because she had sold more than she usually did on Mondays.

“Today’s sales are like what I make on weekends. I cannot explain, but it’s been good so far,” she claimed.

Markets

At the Madina Market in the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality, the situation was not different. The entrance to the market was choked and the car park fully occupied.

A foodstuffs seller at the market, Auntie Akos, described the situation as unusual for Mondays when the market did not usually receive such patronage.

At the Makola Market in the central business district of Accra, Rejoice Lavinia Eklu & Jennifer Kwasin report that dealers in foodstuffs had a good day and there was also a high demand for hand sanitisers.

A trader who deals in toilet rolls and detergents, Ms Juliana Sowah, however, said she had not recorded any significant increase in the sale of her wares.

Source: Daily Graphic

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