A task-force set-up by the Sunyani Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) to enforce social and physical distancing protocols in the markets in the Municipality at the weekend, seized quantities of items and consumables from recalcitrant traders.
The traders failed to comply with directives from the Municipal Assembly to relocate to satellite markets created by the Assembly in the Municipality to control overcrowding at the central market.
During their usual monitoring and compliance assignment, the taskforce impounded quantities of second clothing, footwear, cosmetics and food stuffs.
The taskforce urged the traders and commercial drivers in the Municipality who refused to wear nose masks to acquire and use the protective material.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Superintendent Haruna Alhassan, the Commander of the taskforce comprising personnel of the security services in uniform, a four-member team from the Sunyani Traditional Council (STC), and representatives of the Sunyani Youth Development Association, said the seized items would be kept at the premises of the STC for further action.
He expressed regret that despite the numerous intensified public education on radio stations and other platforms and warning notices, many of the traders were not complying with health and safety protocols and warned recalcitrant traders that the taskforce would clamp down on them.
Supt. Alhassan expressed regret that in the absence of the taskforce, the traders reverted to the normal way of business without even wearing nose masks, “which is unsafe”.
Nana Kwame Addai Kuntuma IV, the ‘Nifahene’ of Sunyani and a member of the STC team, explained that per the rules governing the operations of the Taskforce, any owner of seized goods and wares would have to follow up to the Traditional Council to pay a fine to collect the items.
But failure to that, within three days implies the items would be donated to the inmates of the Sunyani Central Prison, he added. Meanwhile, the Sunyani Municipal Assembly has scaled-up measures to strengthen the social and physical distancing protocols among traders in the Municipality to stem the spread of the COVID-19.
The Assembly at a meeting with the MUSEC, leadership of the markets and the STC resolved that markets would not be opened on Wednesdays, being the official market day in the Municipality.
A statement signed by Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive and copied to the GNA said only stalls and stores would be allowed to operate on Wednesdays.
But, the daily and all satellite markets in the Municipality would be opened on the other days apart from Wednesdays, and traders were expected to close by 1600 hours on Tuesdays.
In addition, children between age two and 16 years would not be allowed to roam about or hover around the market places and other public areas in the Municipality, it stated, adding “It is now compulsory for every passenger to wear nose masks”.21