In a statement, the Minister advised the public to desist from panic buying.
On Friday (March 27, 2020) night, President Akufo-Addo announced a partial lockdown and Greater Accra, Kumasi and Obuasi to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The statement said that “Since the President announced these restrictions, Government has viewed with great concern, a sudden rush of food items and panic buying which has led to price hikes by traders.”
“I wish to appeal to the general public to remain calm as there is enough food in the system and the restrictions will not affect food availability and distribution,” he added.
Most Ghanaians in the areas under partial lockdown started buying essentials especially food items for the home.
The traders also hiked their prices to make abnormal profits. They knew that the customers will definitely buy no matter the price.
Some traders said because their customers needed the food items they would pay any amount for foodstuffs.
But Dr Afriyie Akoto said that anybody in the food value chain is exempted from the lockdown and so “there is no need for anybody to stockpile food in the house, as marketing of food items are to continue uninterrupted.”
He also cautioned traders to “refrain from unnecessarily increasing prices of food items as there is not going to be a shortage of their supplies.”
Ghana’s COVID-19 cases have jumped to 152 with 10 new confirmation in Tamale as of Sunday, March 29. Five people have died while four others have recovered.
The 10 cases were Guinean residents who travelled through Burkina Faso and Togo to Ghana and were picked following intelligence report. The eleventh case was recorded in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region,” the Ghana Health Service