Efforts being made by city authorities in Sunyani to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease are creating brisk businesses for the youth in the municipality.
Unemployed young men and women have taken advantage and engaging in the sale of locally made nose masks to make ends meet.
This follows a directive by the Municipal Assembly that ensures mandatory wearing of nose masks, particularly among traders, food vendors, commercial drivers, motor riders, hawkers and market women.
The Assembly has accordingly set up a task-force to enforce the directive aimed at protecting the public from contracting the disease.
Almost all financial institutions and transport unions operating in the Municipality would not do business with clients and passengers who failed to wear nose masks.
They have posted inscriptions such as “no nose mask no entry” and “It is now compulsory to wear nose mask” on their vehicles and at the premises of their offices.
The traders told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in a random interview in Sunyani on Tuesday that the nose mask business had become lucrative.
Many of them said they sold sanitizers as well but regretted that the sanitizer business had gone down drastically.
Leticia Osei, a trader, explained that prices of nose masks ranged between GHC3.00 and GHC10.00 cedis depending on the quality saying some were reusable and others were not.
She said the factory price for the mask ranged between GHC2 and GHC8.
Meanwhile, the Masks Ambassadors, a local advocacy group that campaigned the wearing of nose masks, as a remedy to stem the spread of the COVID-19, has appealed for nose masks from local manufacturers and fashion designers.
The eight-member advocacy group, made up of journalists and health workers, noted that some people could not afford to buy the nose masks but were willing to use them, adding that such needy class in society ought to be supported with masks.
Mr Francis Owusu Ansah, a leading member of the group, told the GNA that the campaigners were to ensure the aged, head potters, people with disability, wheelbarrow and truck pushers, as well as coconut sellers had the mask and wore them.
“The aged are vulnerable and high-risk population and it is always disturbing to see some of them on the street using their handkerchiefs as nose masks. I think we have to do something to support them to acquire some of the masks to protect themselves and their immediate families,” he said.
Mr Ansah emphasised that the Mask Ambassadors were building collaboration with all relevant institutions towards ensuring that majority, if not all of the populace in the Municipality, wore nose masks and adhered to other safety protocols on the Covid-19.
He commended the Sunyani Municipal Assembly for setting up the task-force, which was making a huge impact in the fight against the disease.
He praised Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Chief Executive, for her passion in controlling the spread of not only COVID-19 but all communicable diseases in the Municipality.