Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashietey, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the region to take “personal interest” in the second phase of the national disinfection, fumigation and cleaning exercise in markets, lorry parks and other public places in the region against the spread of the novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19).

The Minister made the call the launch of phase two of the nationwide disinfection, fumigation, and cleaning of markets, lorry parks and other places at the Independence Square, Accra, on Sunday.

According to him, keeping the markets clean would check against the outbreak of any sanitation-related diseases, and equally protect the traders.

“The Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) will coordinate and monitor the entire programme to ensure its success,” he said.

The exercise, which will cover all markets, lorry parks and other public spaces across the country, will span over a ten-day period.

It will be undertaken by waste management expert, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, with support from the military and police.

In this regard, Mr. Ashietey asked all the MMDCEs to make sure that the environs of the market within their jurisdictions were clean and rid of garbage and filth immediately after the exercise.

He further urged them to rally their officers, particularly the environmental health workers, to properly engage their communities to sensitise the market women and monitor the effective implementation of this intervention by the central government.

He went on to disclose that all the MMDAs in the region would further be required to submit a report in respect of the exercise, “using a reporting template” which had already been provided them.

He also stressed the need for Greater Accra to prioritise the exercise, especially as the region has become the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is, therefore, critical for those of us in the region to double our efforts in ensuring that we contain the virus and stop its further spread,” he admonished.

Mr. Ashietey reiterated that Covid-19 is real, however, “we can live without getting infected if we observe the safety protocols that have been outlined for us by the health professionals,” insisting that “we wash our hands, practice social distancing and wear face/nose masks, at all times to reduce the risk of getting infected.”

Again, he entreated all the officers involved in the exercise to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid direct exposure to the chemicals and also adhere strictly to the environmental cleaning techniques.

“We should all try to reduce any potential transmission associated with surface contamination by frequently washing our hands and avoid touching our faces, and also wear our face/nose masks at all times,” the minster encouraged.

He lapped praises on health workers, for what he described as “their incredible contributions” workers and staff members of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the army and police, for their efforts in halting the spread of the COVID-19.

For his part, the Zoomlion General Manager, Greater Accra Region, Ernest Morgan Acquah, revealed that his company would be disinfecting about 137 markets in the region together with lorry parks, public toilets and other public places.

According to him, the first phase of the exercise was good, assuring that they will improve on that.

On display at the Independence Square were various disinfection and spraying machines of ZGL deployed for the exercise in the region. These included mechanical sweepers, Knapsack sprayers, boom atomisers among others.

Shortly after the launch, Zoomlion Ghana Limited started disinfecting the markets in the various MMDAs within the region including Makola No. 2 market, Kaneshie market, Agbogboloshie Onion market, Jufo Gyala, Makola SSNIT market, Okaishie, Agbogboloshie Vegetable market, Mallam market, Korlebu market among others.