Adherence to coronavirus protocols at Agomanya market on the low

Agomanya Market .png Most people were without face masks at the Agomanya market

Tue, 26 Jan 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region:

Several traders at the Agomanya market in the Eastern Region are not adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.

When our reporter visited the market on Saturday morning which is one of two traditional market days in the area to ascertain the level of compliance by the traders with the protocols, it was observed that most people were without face masks.

While some did not have the masks at all, others had theirs in their bags with yet others having theirs hanging on their chins as they went about their businesses.

They were not alone; buyers were not left out of the carelessness as most of them could be seen busily buying their foodstuffs from traders who were equally guilty of the disregard for the protocols.

The traders, market women and buyers were observed interacting among themselves, buying and selling with less attention to the health protocols.

Aside these, PPEs such as veronica buckets, sanitizers, soaps and tissues to be placed at vantage points which the traders could use to regularly wash their hands, were also absent.

This reporter did not end there but proceeded through the various sections of the vast market including yam, fish, maize, cloths, footwear, second-hand clothing, charcoal, tomatoes, pepper, corn and cassava dough and the main lorry stations.

Though several presentations of nose masks, veronica buckets and other PPE were made to the market women months ago at the peak of the pandemic, they say other PPEs were unavailable.

Although public education and sensitisation for awareness on the disease is on the high, traders at the market still packed goods, food items, and other belongings closely together, leaving very little space between them.

Felicia Maku who sells kenkey and fish at the market is a culprit. Typical of many market women who flout the nose wearing directive, she was quick to explain that she has the mask but decided to keep it in her bag instead of wearing.

“I have one [nose mask], let me wear it,” she said abruptly when asked why she had no nose mask on. “I’m very busy that’s why I haven’t put it on. I’ll put it on right away.”

She said though they have veronica buckets, they did not have other items such as soap, sanitisers and tissue to observe the hand washing protocols. Market queen of the mat sellers in the market also complained about the lack of PPE at the disposal at the traders.

“We are appealing to the authorities including the Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly led by the Municipal Chief Executive, Simon Kweku Tetteh to immediately ensure that PPE are provided at vantage points of the market to ensure the safety of the traders,” she requested.

Though this reporter observed that very few of the market women under her “jurisdiction,” had their masks on, she said the all always had it on because she enforced this directive.

Market queen of the Agomanya market. Madam Susanne Kpabitey, indicated that persistent attempts and announcements to get traders to comply with the directives had fallen on deaf ears.

“Many of the market women are disregarding the wearing of the face masks though some have it on as we have been educated that those who flout it would face the law,” said the market queen adding that announcements would be made regularly in the market to remind them.

She made a passionate appeal to the MCE and Member of Parliament for the area, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi to come to the assistance of the market women by providing the COVID-19 prevention items.

“I’m begging the MCE and the MP to collaborate with me to provide the PPE for use by the market women,” she pleaded but warned that the women would march to the homes and offices of the two public servants if they failed to heed the appeal.

She urged all the market queens in the market to ensure that all their members heed the call to mask up.

Though officials from the Municipal Assembly during the peak of the pandemic were frequently at the market to ensure strict adherence to the social distancing protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic, same is yet to be seen in the wake of what appears to be a second wave currently running through the country.

Among the general populace, veronica buckets, liquid soap and hand sanitizers that were made available and positioned at the frontage of most public office buildings, financial institutions, hospitals, stores and pharmacy shops to ensure people washed their hands under running water before they enter those premises, are hardly seen.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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