Accra, Kumasi deserted …on first day of partial lockdown

0
81

The national capital, Accra, known for its lively way of life, has now become a shadow of itself,one day into the two-week partial lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Similarly, brisk business activities in Kumasi, Tema, Kasoa and over 40 other contagious districts in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas under the restricted movement, grounded to a halt.

In Accra, noise from markets, terminals, street preachers,electronic shops, food joints, vehicles amongst others, has gone down drastically while vehicular and human traffic has vanished, turning the boisterous metropolis into a ghost town.

Busy streets including the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange popularly known as Dubai, Kaneshie-Odorkor-Mallam highway, the George Walker Bush Highway (N1), Accra High Street have been deserted by hawkers and even beggars.

Unlike previously, it currently takes less time and caution to cross the streets or commute from one area to another as only a few commercial vehicles are plying the roads.

Motorcycle (Okada) business has plummeted in line with a directive that motor riders should not carry a passenger. 

Various transport terminals and lorry stations at Circle, Kaneshie and Tema Station are empty with a few vehicles waiting for passengers while drivers and their conductors (mates) are either taking a nap or conversing.

In compliance with the lockdown, many traders whose stock in trade are not classified as essential, including mobile phone,  boutiques, electronics, stationery, footwear, amongst others, had covered their wares.

Brisk business activities at popular hub for second-hand clothes in Accra, Kantamanto and other similar trading centres have also taken a nosedive along with services from head porters (Kayayie).

At Lapaz, along the N1, for instance, the crowd who gather at the traffic light intersection in front of Las Palmas restaurant, one of the accident hotspots in Accra, to cross the highway, has diminished and so have the vehicles that endanger their lives.

The situation at the Ministries enclave, which host majority of civil servants in Accra, was not different when the Ghanaian Times visited. The area was quiet and lifeless.

Security agencies abound in town patrolling in their vehicles and checking ID cards of exempted workers at road blocks. There is a high level of compliance in many places visited by the Ghanaian Times.

Many residents are confined at their homes with others whose houses are close to streets standing in the balconies to observe how things are unfolding in their communities. 

The temporal lockdown announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday night covers residents in Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and Kasoa.

They are expected to stay indoors, except when they need to buy food, water,  medicine, undertake banking transactions, or visit a public toilet. As at mid-day yesterday, about 152 cases had been recorded, with four deaths. 

BY JONATHAN DONKOR