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Business News of Thursday, 26 March 2020

Source: Joseph Asare Agyabeng, Contributor

Coronavirus: Traders cash in as panic buying hits Koforidua

The mad rush for food essentials has caused a price hike on the market The mad rush for food essentials has caused a price hike on the market

Residents in the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua have been gripped with fear as the deadly coronavirus disease is gradually taking over the country by storm.

This fright which has engulfed the residents has lead to panic buying as they believe the country will soon face a total lockdown due to the increasing number of cases recorded.

Speaking to some of these purchasers, even though they are going by the directives given by health practitioners and the government there is a need for them to get some more groceries to stock their home.

“I have a strong feeling the government will soon come out and declare a total lock down of the country because the coronavirus disease is widely spreading across the country and who knows what will happen next? If the lockdown comes and there is no food at home, I will face a lot of challenges, so I’m doing all my necessary shopping now before the ‘dark’ days come,” a buyer revealed.

Touching on the prices of goods in the market, the purchasers disclosed that, prices of foodstuffs which has tremendously shot up amazes them.

According to them, a half sack of onion which was sold at GH? 150 is now being sold at GH? 200, a 5kg bag of rice which was sold at GH? 30 is now being sold at GH? 40 which wows them as purchasers but since there isn’t any option for them, they end up patronizing the product without any hesitation.

“The traders are using this avenue to make abnormal profits for themselves which is not fair to us. We understand they want profit, as they sell but gaining huge profit in this way, is total absurd. The funny thing is it’s as though they’ve held a meeting because the prices on goods are hiked and are the same, which is really bad, ”another purchaser cried.

“Not all of us can patronize goods at such prices which isn’t reasonable to me. This is because a trader shouldn’t just wake up one day and decide to sell their product at a certain price which other traders astonishingly follow the trend which to me as a purchaser is criminal. The amount I always use for foodstuffs can’t get me what I used to get from the market anymore due to this overpricing,” another said.

Talking to some of these traders in the Koforidua central market, they unveiled that, the relatively high prices labelled on their items aren’t their fault, but rather do so depending on the prices at which they get their goods.
“Prices on goods keep increasing as the day goes by and it isn’t our fault the prices keep going up. We sell based on the price we get our products and we cannot sell products without getting a dime as profit. We do this business to make profit not to run at a lost. They (purchasers) make it seem we are duping them of their money which isn’t so.” A trader said.

Other traders who were interviewed added that, there is no way they as traders will add unimaginable profit to their goods as they believe it isn’t religious for one to do that.

“Most of us here are Christians and just like the way we preach against corruption in our churches there isn’t any way we would go contrary to what we preach against by cheating our customers which we indeed know it isn’t right in the sight of God. We believe every trader here in the market will get their share at the end of the day. There is no point in overpricing your products and later reduce it drastically when we are done with coronavirus”. Some traders averred.

However, the Ghana Medical Association has recently called on the government to lockdown the country as the association believes, a total lockdown will go a long way to help the country as the country battles with the coronavirus pandemic.