There is no denying the reality that COVD-19 has come to stay globally, and countries could have dwindling cases but may not be able to eradicate it. Life should also go on for communities and families though under the ‘new-normal’.
Selling and buying are a major part of daily activities for individuals and families, and shops and open air markets will continue to be patronized by people.
In as much as individuals and families seek to limit their presence at such places as part of COVID-19 preventive measures, bodies like the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) offer some guidelines shop or market goers could adhere to in order to be safe.
First, avoid shopping if you are unwell and may be showing symptoms such as fever, dry cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, chest pain, aches and pains.
Again, if possible, limit visiting shops or other places selling household essentials, in person. Alternatively, buy items online. This is a way of avoiding interacting closely with others for a long time, and thus reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection.
However, if you are to be at a shop or an open market (which is common in Africa), do the following:
- Wear a mask.
- Go to shops or markets during periods in the day fewer people will be there. In Ghana where some markets are at their peak on specific days, you may visit those markets at non-peak days.
- At both shops and open markets, keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the seller or attendant, and other customers.
- Disinfect shopping carts at shops before using them.
- If possible, only touch products or items you intend to buy.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands in the course of shopping or upon coming out of the shop or market.
- If possible, pay for the cost of the items by cashless means. However, if you have to handle money, sanitise your hands afterwards.
Supported by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and the European Union