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Politics of Friday, 10 April 2020

Source: GNA

Consider drinking bars as essential service providers in the lockdown - Moshake

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Executive Member of the Tema East Constituency branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Stephen Ashitey Adjei has appealed to the government to consider drinking spots as essential service providers in the coronavirus partial lockdown.

In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Ashitey Adjei popularly known as Moshake said the products that the drinking bars sold included; liquid foods that were essential for the lockdown period.

“Beverages like Malta, Vita Milk, beer and fruit juices are forms of food drinks that would come in handy at a time like this for people who traditionally do not eat at home. I also think the bottled and canned packaging of these food drinks makes them relatively safer from contamination than the solid food that government is allowing to be sold by roadsides,” Moshake observed.

According to him, “it is useful to encourage the sale of such well packaged liquid foods in times like this, rather than prohibit their sale by closing down drinking bars.”

He called on Government to reconsider its position and allow drinking spots to open and obey the social distancing and hygiene protocols.

He said since alcohol was not prohibited in the lockdown period, it would be expedient to allow patrons to buy it and take away if the government believed they would not adhere to the social distancing.

The partial lockdown of the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi areas by Government as part of measures to contain the deadly coronavirus exempted food vendors from the category of people who must stay at home unless something really critical was needed.

Enforcers on the ground have since forced drinking spots in the two affected areas to cease operations, mainly on grounds of fear that people will crowd into these bars and therefore make it easy for the virus to spread.

The statement said social distancing practices that solid food vendors were applying to ensure that there were no infectious exchanges between them and their customers, could actually be better applied by bar operators.

“If you ask me, it is actually easier to practise social distancing in drinking spots than at food joints, since traditionally, drinking spots are comparatively better designed than food joints in Ghana.”

The statement was concerned about the closure of drinking spots not only because, of its negative impact businesses in that market niche, but that it had also made it impossible for people who prefer liquid foods such as canned malt, to get such foods to buy.

“For me, whichever way you look at it, the closure of drinking spots is not too justified if food vendors are allowed to sell. I think drinking spot operators should be allowed to re-open for business.”

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