- On May 5, 2020
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Story by: Sumaila Ibrahim, Tamale (April 15, 2020)
In the absence of a vaccine and approved drug for the treatment of the novel Coronavirus, social distancing, experts say, is among the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus. Essentially, the call is for everyone to stay 2 meters apart from each other. This call, however, poses a great threat to the survival of some families, including those in the Tamale Metropolis, particularly, market women. They posit that laudable as the call to stay at home is, it is practically difficult for them to adhere to the call given their economic situation.
Speaking with Sumaila Ibrahim, People for Health (P4H) focal person in Tamale, the women said Allah is their best protector against the Coronavirus. A food vendor in the Tamale central market, Ramatu Awudu said that ‘‘I cannot afford to stay at home because this business is the only source of livelihood for my family and me.” The women, although, appreciate the risks involved in going to the market every day, explain that not doing so will seriously affect their economic wellbeing. Ayisha, a tomato seller remarked that ‘‘my life is in the hands of Allah because He knows that, if I don’t come to the market, it will be difficult for me to feed my family.’’
Overcrowding in the market also makes it difficult for people to observe physical distancing. In the midst of all this, however, some market women have in their possession, alcohol-based hand sanitizers for frequent use, while other shops have placed Veronica buckets (with water and soap) at the entrance of their shops for use.
As part of measures adopted to complement the fight against the pandemic, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, on 2nd April 2020 closed all markets in the metropolis to pave a way for disinfection.