Health News

Head potters, truck pushers risk contracting COVID-19

Street

Head potters, truck and wheelbarrow pushers operatiing in the Sunyani Central Business District (CBD) are vulnerable people, highly exposed to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

Their activities if not checked and monitored, could easily trigger the spread of the viral disease in the Municipality, and thwart the nation’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Though their services are essential as they assisted sellers and buyers as well as travelers to carry their loads and baggage, they felt neglected in the nationwide fight against the COVID-19.

These vulnerable young men and women, the Ghana News Agency ((GNA) gathered migrated from the northern part of the country to seek greener pastures to improve on their socio-economic livelihoods.

But, they are seriously at risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 among themslves as they slept together in their numbers in front of shops, abandoned and dilapidated structures at the CBD.

During a visit to the CBD on Wednesday, these vulnerable young people numbering about 100 were sighted on the VRA-Sunyani main station street holding their working tools (wheel barrows and trucks).

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They were patiently sitting and chatting on the flower bed at the frontage of the Twene Amanfo Senior High and Technical School area, while they waited to render services to people for a fee.

Virtually, none of them was wearing nosemask or face shield, however few of them had alcohol-based hand sanitizers, when the GNA approached and interacted with them.

Initially, they were very reluctant to open up, until this reporter persuaded them to understand he worked to seek their interest and general welfare.

Asked why they were not wearing nose mask to protect themselves and those around them from contracting the COVID-19, many of them said they could not afford to buy masks.

“We rent a wheelbarrow for GHC15 a day, but because business nowadays is not good, we can even afford to pay the owners. If you fail to pay them then you are out of business the next day,” Abubakar Siedu, 22, a wheelbarrow pusher who said he migrated from Bongo in the Upper East Region stated.

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Fatima Salamatu, a-19-year-old teenage mother, and a head potter, explained some of her customers used to buy her nose mask and hand sanitizers, but she was worried many of them had stopped engaging her services.

During interactions with them, the GNA gathered most of these vulnerable people had little knowledge about the COVID-19, its spread, symptoms and prevention.

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