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Business News of Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Source: Prince Owusu, Contributor

Coronavirus: Achimota Mall steps up preventive campaign

All tenants wash hands and sanitize on arrival at the centre All tenants wash hands and sanitize on arrival at the centre

Tenants, stores and workers at the Achimota Retail Centre (ARC or Achimota Mall) have rallied behind management to roll out what may well be the most robust COVID -19 preventive regime in the retail sector.

The anti-COVID 19 campaign, was conceived as early as March 10 but was activated in full blast last Monday by the shopping centre’s management and involves virtually every trading entity and individual operating at the facility.

“I know of the general effort to curb the spread of the virus, but what makes our campaign (preventive measures) unique is that, it involves every stakeholder on the ground – our tenants, the stores, their staff and attendants, ground workers, sanitary workers and the security, as well as the stationed Police unit here,” Ben Appiah Darko, Operations Manager at ARC told visiting newsmen.

Achimota Retail Centre, best known by its patrons as Achimota Mall, is the leading address for one-stop shopping and recreation for a large cluster of communities in the Ga East Municipality, including Dome, Tantra Hills, Kwabenya, Ashongman Estates and the Achimota township.

“We have installed highly efficient touch-free hand sanitizers at all our main entrances, the walkways, the staircase and all the high-traffic locations like our popular food court and the washrooms,” said Mr. Darko.

The centre’s sanitary workers have been commissioned to do hourly disinfection of all solid surfaces in the washrooms and public places and have been enjoined to ensure good hygiene at every part of the Centre at all times.

Animated pull-up banners and A1 boards bearing vital graphical information about how shoppers, visitors, as well as workers, should conduct themselves around the mall have been mounted at several locations including the walkways, foyer and the washrooms.

The Operations Manager said the most significant thing about ARC’s COVID-19 prevention campaign is that the shopping centre’s tenants, shops and the service providers have been extremely cooperative and proactive and clearly share Management’s passion of ensuring that the mall remains the safest place to shop in the whole of Accra.

Mr. Darko attributes the impressive response of the mall’s tenants and service providers to the elaborate programme of education and training initiated by Management.

“Engagements with our tenants and their workers on COVID 19 have been very thorough and we spent great effort on training our on-site staff about the characteristics and symptoms of the disease, how it is transmitted and the relevant emergency procedures to adopt on the event of a crisis,” said Mr. Darko.

Besides the broader preventive measures adopted by management for the entire centre, each store at the mall receives customers and patrons with its own set of in-house measures, common among which is the mandatory use of hand sanitizers or rubbing alcohol at the entrances and pay points.

The banks at the mall have however taken precautionary measures to an entirely new level, as they enforce the government directive on social distancing by allowing but a handful of clients into their banking halls where, after a mandatory cleansing with hand sanitizers, they are attended to by officials in nose masks and protective gloves.

“Being the preferred destination for one-stop shopping in the whole of the Ga East Municipality, we have always taken a serious view of the personal health and safety of our customers and tenants; the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has served to make us even more alert and more determined to preserve our reputation as Accra’s friendliest and most secured shopping centre,” said Mr. Darko.

He announced that in other to reinforce the impact of the various preventive measures adopted by Management and the tenants, the Centre will be fumigated after business hours on Friday, March 27.