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Regional News of Friday, 8 May 2020


Chiana Market defies social distancing protocol

Correspondence from Upper East Region:

The social distancing directive announced by government as part of measures to stem the spread of the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is not being practiced at the Chiana Market in the Kassena-Nankana West District.

The Chiana Market is the biggest in the Western zone of the district drawing people from Nakong, Katiu, Kayoro, Sandema, Paga and Navrongo.

On a market day, hundreds of traders gather at there to sell to hundred more people. This creates overcrowding in the markets which can be catalyst for the spread of the virus.

With the growing cases of the Coronavirus in the country, there is the need to decongest markets or even close them temporarily to prevent the disease from spreading. Authorities in some areas within the region such as Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga have taken the initiative and have closed their markets.

But that is not the case at the Chiana Market. A visit by Our Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro, showed people going about their buying and selling without a hint of the COVID-19.

Traders sat very close to each other without care to observe the one-metre distance advised. Another worrying observation was that, very few of the traders and buyers used protective gears such as the nose mask and hand sanitizers to protect themselves against the viral infection.

It was also observed that there was no handwashing equipment at the market for people to properly wash their hands before or after entering the market.

Operators of “Motor king” or “Mahama Cando” offering public transport services did not also adhere to the social distancing protocol as they packed and transported passengers in and out of the market.

Some people, who did not want to be identified, in an interview said it would be difficult to implement the social distancing protocol at the market, stating reasons including indiscipline on the part of some people. They agreed that social distancing would help prevent the Chiana area from recording cases of the disease.

They appealed to authorities to either close the markets or take steps to enforce the preventive directive in the area.

Out of nine suspected cases of the Coronavirus in the Kassena-Nankana West District, six have tested negative with three pending.

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