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How panic buying and the mass exodus before partial Covid-19 lockdown may affect Ghana

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Panic buying and the mass exodus in Ghana
Panic buying and the mass exodus in Ghana
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After the announcement of a partial Covid-19 lockdown in Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Kumasi which begun today, March 30, 2020, and will last for two weeks, most people have rushed to the markets for some essentials products.

Within the two days window before the lockdown, there were long queues at markets and gas filling station with no respect to the social distancing protocol.

Others have also moved in their numbers to other parts of the country.

In a media interview on these actions before the lockdown, Dr Titus Beyou Deputy General Secretary for the Ghana Medical Association said these various actions may have defeated the intent of the lockdown.

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He attributed the actions before the Covid-19 partial lockdown to misinformation forcing people to be rushing for essentials services which will be available during the lockdown period.

"Perhaps information dissemination was not adequate and it just tells us the general public perhaps did not understand the President's directive clearly because most of the essentials people are shopping for are food, drugs and are things which will available through the period of the lockdown so it is completely unnecessary."

Commenting on the health implication the actions to the country, he said in case there is community transmission individuals with the infection may have easily spread it.

"The health implications are that in times where there are community spread, the very thing we are trying to avoid is what we have created with the panic buying and the mass exodus, you have people massing up and congregating to buy things with no respect for social distancing protocol, people are struggling in long queues for gas so it just unfortunate because a lot of these people can really transmit the infection if anyone has it in such environment."

According to him, the situation vindicated the GMA's call for a nationwide lockdown, he believes there may be some bit of danger looming in the country.

"...Vindicates the GMA's position when we called for a nationwide lockdown people did not understand us because as soon as there is still inter-city movement with this lockdown that gave people enough time to relocate, we going to replicate the problem of Italy, we studied this situation and asked that we should have a nationwide lockdown, we could have limited movement within the communities because the mass exodus will just lead to spread of the condition from the already affected areas nationwide.."