The Takoradi Market Circle together with four other major markets in the Western Region has been closed down for a week.

This, according to authorities, is to allow for the various assemblies to undertake a fumigation and disinfection exercise.

The closure follows an increasing number of Covid-19 cases and the inability of traders to observe social distancing at the markets which have been identified as a hotspot.

The Region on Tuesday, overtook the Ashanti Region as the country’s latest Covid-19 hotspot area.

 “The new hotspot is in the Western Region which reported about 57 new cases. It is mainly the Sekondi-Takoradi municipality and the metropolis and then Tarkwa,” Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye from the Ghana Health Servicve had told journalists at a press conference in Accra.

In a statement announcing the closure, the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly said the decision was taken after an emergency council meeting between  the Sekondi-Takoradi Metro and the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assemblies

Apart from the closure of the markets, all Presidential directives including the suspension of social gatherings and the wearing of face masks are to be enforced by all the assemblies.

Leadership of the various markets will also be “engaged to introduce a shift system using colours when the markets are reopened. Whereas the Takoradi market will run three shifts (i.e. red, yellow, and green), Sekondi, Kojokrom and Effiakuma Number 9 Markets will run two shifts (i.e. red and yellow).”

The statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, John Laste also stated that all special market days have been temporary suspended across the metropolitan area.

The latest development comes, less than a month after President Akufo-Addo lauded the market women in the twin-city for observing good social distancing which was key in controlling the spread of the virus.

In his eighth address to the Nation, President Akufo-Addo had called on market women and traders across the country to emulate the unique Social distancing model currently been practiced by traders within markets in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

According to the President, “the example of Markets in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis where social distancing is being well observed, is an excellent one for market women all over the country”.

But with 7,303 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ghana, the Western Region has recorded 357, making it one of the regions with the highest infected persons.