All major markets in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and the Effia-Kwesimentsim municipality in the Western Region will be closed down on Thursday for one week.
The decision was taken after a meeting between the security councils for both Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly and the Effia-Kwesimentsim Municipal Assembly.
The Covid-19 taskforce for Sekondi-Takoradi, in its assessment of the situation, recommended that the Takoradi Market be shut down.
This is said to be informed by the flagrant disregard for health protocols by traders selling at the inner perimeter of the market.
According to the head of the taskforce, James Obeng Jnr., traders who were relocated to the Jubilee Market as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus have gone back to the Market Circle.
In an exclusive interview with 3news.com after the meeting Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor Anthony KK Sam, Mr Obeng Jnr explained that the decision to close down the market was taken purely on health grounds.
“We have all agreed that on Thursday morning, we are going to shut down all major markets for one week. During the period, we will make sure to go with the markings on social distancing. We will go on to fumigate the market and will educate the traders on wearing nose masks. And by courtesy of local government, we are going to place in the market poly tanks for use.”
He also indicated that other measures that were eased will be reinforced to ensure full compliance with all health protocols set forth by government.
“We have the pubs and the rest where people are proving difficult. With the assistance of METSEC, we are going around to close all pubs… Also, the children we took the first step by arresting…have gone back to the markets and the streets. We are going back to do the arrests. If we find any child below 18, we will apply the law.”
Already, the Assembly’s information vans have since Saturday been moving round the metropolis, announcing the possibility of the closure of markets.
‘Western region is Covid-19 hotspot’
Responding to the announcement that the increasing cases of Covid-19 in Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality make the Western Region the current hotspot, the Mayor explained that though the situation is worrisome, it is due to the increasing number of voluntary testing being conducted.
“Sekondi-Takoradi [Metropolitan] Assembly was the first in the country to do voluntary testing. We have conducted many voluntary testing. For example, here at the Assembly all of us have been tested. From the MCE to the last person here at the Assembly. We also extended the voluntary testing to the military bases and several other institutions.”
Nevertheless, the Mayor stated that the metropolis will continue to find innovative ways to help stem the spread of the virus.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana