Accra, Dec. 17, GNA – Christmas is a few days away and as usual, the Central Business District of the National capital is booming with trading activities.

It is a sunny afternoon and Kantamanto is jam-packed with selling and buying being done everywhere, street corners and road shoulders, inclusive.

It appears business as usual despite regular calls for observance of COVID-19 safety protocols.

The worry is that, Christmas is about sharing and merry-making, hence more shopping, more partying and visitations are expected but unfortunately, handwashing stations and hand sanitizer, have gone into hiding.

Irene and I spotted only one Veronica bucket without soap at the cloth market at Makola and had a feel of Ivor Greenstreet’s “Election shock” when we attempted to wash our hands and realised that it had no water in it.

Globally, COVID-19 was noted to have changed the way customers shop either by choice or because of mandated lockdowns and restrictions.

According to the World Health Organization, the globe has recorded 70,461,926 confirmed cases with 1, 599,704 deaths as at December 13, 2020.
Ghana has recorded 53,014 confirmed cases with 327deaths.

Although COVID vaccine has been developed by Pfizer/BioNtech and approved for use in the United Kingdom, Ghana is nowhere near having access to the vaccine, thus, the only ‘exit strategy’ from the virus to shop safe during this busiest time of the calendar is to wear your nose masks, observe social distancing, wash hands with soap under running water and use alcohol based sanitizers as often as possible to ensure safety.

Rabi Tia, Onion seller at the Tema station said “market is not going well in this year’s festive season because the virus has slowed activities” and caused a rise in the price of bag of onion.

“Customers refuse to buy because they say it’s too expensive” she added.
Gertrude Boadu, who also shared her concerns, said people were not shopping the way they should.

“Many people are here in the streets, but they are not buying ooo…the novel virus is the reason. They are afraid of contracting the disease and hence have cause business to be slow“, she stated.

Berty Agbomeke, another trader, said she sold only six hand bags for the whole day due to coronavirus and said she had no hand washing station because customers stopped using it.
We welcome Christmas and ready to celebrate it, but it must be done with COVID-19 in mind.

Let’s shop and make merry with great caution not to expose ourselves and others to the virus.

It is simple, just observe the safety protocols- nose masks, social distancing and use of hand sanitizers, whilst enjoying the moment with friends and relations.
GNA

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