Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has described as unnecessary, the desperation by some residents of Accra and Kumasi to stock up some basic household essentials and food items ahead of a partial lockdown in parts of the country.
He expressed surprised at the behviour of the hundreds of residents who stormed various major markets and supermarkets within Accra and Kumasi Saturday morning to stock-up foodstuff and toiletries among other essential supplies, to hunker down for the next two weeks.
For him, their action clearly demonstrates a misunderstanding of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s declaration of a partial lockdown in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi.
“I’ve just gone around a few places today and there appears to be a misunderstanding about some of the things; the rush to buy things, the rush to buy food is totally unnecessary,” he told the parliamentary press corps on Saturday.
He wondered why people were busily doing panic buying ahead of lockdown which begins from 1:00 a.m. Monday as there is the flexibility for people in the affected areas to get those basic essentials as and when they need them.
“…the measures have made it possible that you can go to the market and buy food and wherever food is sold,” Mr Dery reiterated and noted that shops and markets selling those items will be opened “so the rush before the deadline is unnecessary”.
Footages and reports from our reporters showed many of the people crowded themselves in markets and shops to buy what they needed for the period while others crammed themselves in commercial vehicles without any form of protective gears.
Social distancing, which has been touted as the best approach to break the cycle of the virus transmission was blatantly disregarded by the thousands of people who moved out in town for various businesses.
The mad rush for LPG caused many gas filling stations within the Accra metropolis to choke as people queued in the scorch sun for hours to fill their cylinders.
“Filling stations, gas stations are unnecessary crowded,” Mr Dery observed, noting “they will remain open”.
He said is very dangerous for people to “go with that crowd because it will cause fires. All I can tell you is that these measures are well thought out by the president. The security will do its work”.
Meanwhile, the Minister has questioned the decision by some banks which normally work on Saturdays, to close their branches yesterday.
According to him, he received complaints that from some people who were paid their salaries Friday before 4:00 p.m. but have been successful in making withdrawals.
He said banks are exempted from the lockdown.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana