It’s a mix of views on social media, mostly over the ridiculous prices at which hand sanitizers are selling for in most of the country’s pharmacies.
The World Health Organisation, Government of Ghana, the Health Ministry and the Ghana Health Service have all been re-echoing the same message about personal safety in recent times, following some 6 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country.
Aside covering the nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, keeping the hand away from the face and most importantly, frequent washing and sanitising of the hands have been key among preventive tips shared widely.
On the back of that, the sale of sanitisers skyrocketed, beginning Friday March 13, 2020, barely hours after the first announcement by the health ministry. Shops including those at the various malls in the capital were out of stock in the early hours of the day.
By Saturday, pricing strategies had changed for retailers and sellers of the sanitisers. There was over 50 to 100 percent inflation, causing an uproar on social media.
Small sanitisers which would ordinarily cost between 3 to 5 cedis are now going for 8 and 10 cedis in some cases. The bigger ones are now between the ranges of 80 and 150 cedis.
Whilst many have condemned pharmacies for dwelling on a global pandemic to cash in on sales, others are describing the move as unreasonable and shameful, especially because it will adversely affect everybody else if the virus spreads because people cannot afford to purchase these sanitisers.
“All pharmacies and shops that have increased the prices of sanitisers astronomically are all hell-bound. You sit in your homes and offices and complain when issues of corruption come up. You’re corrupt. You’re evil. You shameless bunch of insensitive people.
If your neighbour can't afford it, your chance of infection is higher.” Renonwed broadcaster, Nana Aba Anamoah said.
Here is how some Ghanaians reacted:
Ghana pharmacies stop the arbitrage! Sell the sanitizers at normal prices to help the situation.— NANA AMA DKB ???? ???? (@dkbghana) March 15, 2020
Its non-ethical to exploit a pandemic.
Stop being shameless greeds.
Sanitizer 150ghana, why it dey sanitize destiny?
Instead of keeping the price of a sanitizer the same or reducing it making it possible for everyone to buy afford it they won’t but rather increase the price making it impossible for people to afford it... Oh Ghana ???????? pic.twitter.com/W7Lcf3QrhC— TNR Music Updates (@TNR_Ghana) March 15, 2020
150 Ghana cedis for sanitizer?? Bruh what the hell? Why? How? What happened? Ei????— ???????? (@hanty_naa) March 15, 2020
@Hitz1039FM Ghana paaa— Qweku_Scanty (@scanty_qweku) March 16, 2020
Sanitizer has become very expensive when dis is the time weneed it for free, now dat we are in danger ppl are finding profit rather than helping other to prevent it hmmm #daybreakhitz
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All pharmacies and shops that have increased the prices of sanitisers astronomically are all hell-bound. You sit in your homes and offices and complain when issues of corruption come up. You’re corrupt. You’re evil. You shameless bunch of insensitive people. If your neighbour can't afford it, your chance of infection is higher.
The hand sanitizers that you are hoarding to maximise profit, you would have breakfast with it soon p33— Michael Oti Adjei (@OtiAdjei) March 15, 2020
Ghanaian’s should stop being selfish and think about how this virus ???? can spread so fast ???? and not sell the sanitizers that high cost for the poor to be able to purchase too before one crazy dude will go look for the virus ???? and come spread it since he/she can’t buy.????— Fortune (@nakwasikobi) March 16, 2020
Selling hand sanitizers at an outrageous price??? The car go get accident after 2 days! ????— ?Kwashey Boy????????????????? (@abeka_boy) March 16, 2020
The level of greed depicted by Cleanshelf Supermarkets is alarming.. Hiking the price of sanitizers when the life of common mwanainchi depends on it, same mwanainchi that has been promoting their brand.. We can do better than this..— Vins Guru (@vinsguru) March 16, 2020