Major markets in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis that were closed down due to the surge in COVID-19 cases have been reopened today, Thursday, June 4th, 2020.
The markets which include the Takoradi Market Circle, Jubilee Park, Sekondi, and Kojokrom markets resumed to tight restrictions and a shift system with the exception of Effiakuma Number nine market.
The Public Relations Officer for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metro, John Laste, highlighting measures put in place said each trader has been provided with coloured cards.
Without these cards, they will not be allowed entry and will face a three-month ban for breach of measures.
“Takoradi Market Circle traders would be using red and green coloured cards while Kojokrom, Sekondi and Jubilee Park traders would use red and yellow cards and observe a two-day shift. So we are starting on Thursday with those with red coloured cards, on Friday, green and yellow would come, and then red would come again on Saturday.”
“To also ensure traders don’t move across markets with their cards because they are using the same colour, we have indicated names of the various markets on the cards. This would help inspectors know those who are supposed to be in that market on the day to do business. We have also formed a taskforce that would be moving around to inspect these cards.”
John Laste also outlined the social distancing measures put in place as well as sanctions to go with any breach.
“We have made it clear to them through their leadership that any trader who would be found to be trading without the appropriate card would be sanctioned per our bylaws that says that one could be suspended for a period of three months. Takoradi market has eight gates, so four gates would be for entry and the other four would be for exit. We have a banner to be hunged at the gate to indicate entry and exit. We also have thermometer guns ready to check temperatures at all the market gates, thus to check traders and buyers before they go in. We have also raised a polytank to make water available for handwashing at all the markets,” he noted.
Our visit to the Takoradi Jubilee Park Market revealed tjhe evidence of banners raised at the entrance with a “no mask no entry” inscription as well as a mounted barrel full of water for handwashing.
A trader, sister Akosua, expressed her commitment to the measures put in place.
“We thank God that it has been reopened for us to start selling our things. We are glad they have now put in measures which will help us bring down the virus. We have been asked to wear our nose masks before coming in and wash our hands. Now too, we come in batches, thus those who will come on Thursday with the red card and those with Friday with come on Friday so we are praying that works.”
The Takoradi market circle and the Jubilee Park are expected to have a trading population of about 6,000, while the Sekondi and Kojokrom markets each will have around 2,500 population.
The Effiakuma Number 9 market would however not participate in a shift system as extra space in front of a church close-by has been given to traders to spread out.