COVID-19: Assembly reopens Agona Swedru markets
The Agona West Municipal Assembly this morning [Thursday, May 14, 2020] reopened the Swedru Markets which were closed for almost two weeks.
The markets were temporarily closed by the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) on Tuesday May 5, 2020 due to non-adherence to social distancing by traders at the markets.
The affected markets were the Main, Mandela markets and a satellite market which was created at the Narrow way school park primarily to reduce congestion at the markets.
Prior to the reopening, the MUSEC had held a series of meetings with the leadership of the markets and representatives of chiefs to come up with guidelines and modalities to ensure strict adherence to safety protocols and social distancing at the markets to stem the spread of the virus.
In its quest to avert the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, had created three additional satellite markets at the Mayline Park, Tipper Truck Drivers station and the Narrow Way school park. These satellite markets would be operational particularly on Mondays and Thursdays which are observed as market days.
Per the creation of the satellite markets, traders who ply their trade at unapproved places around the two markets and at the shoulders of the road have been moved to the satellite to reduce congestion within the Central Business Area to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Additionally, the market had numbered the sheds, stores and stalls as well as provided colour tags to floating traders so that they would run shift at the two markets so as to prevent overcrowding and ensure strict adherence to social distancing.
Also, the assembly had extended water supply to all the markets to ensure that traders and buyers regularly washed their hands to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a visit by Graphic Online, it was observed that the traders were observing social distancing while many of them were spotted wearing face masks.
In an interview, some of the traders expressed gratitude to the assembly for reopening the markets since life had been very difficult for them since the closure of the markets, saying “I can tell you that throughout the period of the closure, it was very difficult for us to fend for ourselves”.
They admonished their colleague traders to respect and adhere to the interventions put in place at the markets by the assembly since it was in their own interest.
For her part, the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, indicated that the assembly is poised to ensure strict observance of safety standards especially at the markets to protect users.
She noted that the market was a place that the virus could easily spread among people and that the assembly would continue to put in place safety measures there to protect both traders and buyers.
She said “all these interventions are in your own interest and that it is important that adhered to them to control the spread of the virus in the municipality”.