The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has distributed handwashing facilities to markets in Accra to encourage traders and commuters to frequently wash their hands under running water as a preventive measure against the deadly coronavirus.
The markets are 31st Makola market, London market, Tema Station, Kwasiadwaso, Kantamanto, Okaishie market, Agbogbloshie among others all in the Central Business District (CBD).
The facilities which are expected to be installed in earnest, include 80 Veronica buckets; a bucket with a tap near the bottom that is perched above a basin to for handwashing, 80 rolls of tissue paper, 400 nose masks, 40 dustbins, as well as 80 bottles of sanitizers.
Presenting the facilities to the leadership of the various markets, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development said handwashing had been proven to be the safest way to prevent the virus from spreading hence the distribution of the facilities to complement efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
She announced plans to close down all markets in the city for a disinfection exercise and urged all to comply with the directives put out by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.
She also urged market women to desist from sending their children to the markets and allow them to stay home and commended the traders for responding positively to the invitation.
Mayor of Accra,Mohammed Adjei Sowah expressed concerns over the overcrowding in the market and advised traders to strictly observe the social distancing directive and ensure that they frequently wash their hands to prevent the virus from spreading in the city.
"We are making sure that the virus doesn’t spread. Today the number of cases has increased to 16. In some countries, it started this way and now it had increased. People are also giving wrong advice as to how coronavirus is treated and that’s why we have the doctor here to educate us so that by the time we leave here we will understand the situation on the ground, "he said.
Director of Health at the AMA, Dr Therson-Cofie entreated all citizens to obey the precautionary measures and ensure that they cultivate the habit of washing hands with soap.
“Research has shown that washing our hands with soap under running water eliminates all the germs you have come into contact with. We are also advised to as much as possible avoid touching our face, putting our hands in our mouth or nose because these places serve as access points for the germs, We should also do well to share whatever we are learning here with others so that we can all do the right thing, "she said.
She also urged the general public to visit the official website of Ghana Health Service (GHS) and World Health Organization (WHO) where you could get all the information you need as well as the Ministry of Health(MoH) and CDC.
The President of the Greater Accra Markets Association, Mrs Mercy Needjan who was present entreated all traders to abide by the directive not to open their shops on Monday to make way for the exercise and appealed to food sellers to properly store their wares.