The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has announced that traders at the Kumasi Central Market will begin a shift system with 1,942 members dealing in all assorted commodities of all trade associations allowed to sell in the market daily.
This follows the closure of the market on Tuesday, 7 April 2020 with the explanation that the traders have not been observing the World Health Organisation's social distancing protocol, which is recommended as one of the key ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
According to the KMA, it received reports of the "blatant disregard" by the traders to the social distancing protocol on Monday, 6 April 2020.
“The scary nature of the report warranted an emergency METSEC meeting with the 11-member committee of the Kumasi Central Market as well as other leaders of the 67 trade associations of the market” a statement issued by the Chairman of METSEC Osei Assibey Antwi said.
According to the KMA, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO) Henrietta Afia Konadu Aboagye, the assembly reached this decision after a joint meeting with the Metro Security Council (METSEC) and the eleven-member Steering Committee and leaders of the 67 trade associations of the market.
It indicated that “a shift shall be practised by the traders, henceforth, in the Central market, that each shift shall be identified by a uniquely designed identity card in red, gold and green colours”
The statement continued: “Five thousand eight hundred and twenty-five (5,825) shall be grouped into three, with each group being identified with the card” prescribed and that “only 1,942 members, dealing in all assorted commodities of all trade associations shall be allowed to trade on each day.”
It added that although the market shall be reopened on “Wednesday, 8 April 2020 to formalise all arrangements pertaining to the rotational system to be practised”, there “shall be no trading activities.”
The market will, however, “officially be opened for trading activities on Thursday, 9 April 2020.”