Business activities in the Tamale Metropolis have started picking up toward the Eid-fitr festivity to be celebrated over the weekend. The business activities slowed down over the past month due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, of which the Tamale Metropolis was not exempted.
Though food commodities were in abundance, patronage was very low due to a standstill of business activities and many staying at home to prevent contracting the disease.
But with Eid-fitr around the corner, the sale of fabrics has seen a sharp rise with seamstresses and tailors looking to cash in. Also, the livestock business has been booming at the Aboabo and Picorna Markets, with traders expecting high sales despite the virus.
The 2020 Eid al-Fitr is to begin in the evening of Saturday according to the Islamic calendar after a month-long Ramadan of fasting and praying. Depending on the sighting of the moon, the Eid celebration is expected to begin either on Saturday, May 23, or Sunday, May 24.
This year’s occasion will be affected due to outbreak of the disease around the world, with social distancing and gathering banned as part of measures to curb spread of the disease. In view of that, some measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic – including the suspension of Eid prayers, outdoor festivals and other celebratory events – have been put in place, with a call on people to pray at home and celebrate the festival indoors.
A visit to the markets saw traders displaying their wares while shops opened for business. At the central business district and Aboabo Market, although social distancing protocols were not being adhered to, business was ongoing with the expectation of traders that by Friday business would increase.
Some complained that due to the policy on transportation, drivers within the metropolis have increased fares – which has also affected food prices.
According to Faiza Ibrahim, a trader, trading activities were slow because people were not coming to the market, while others had to store goods due to the rumour that there was going to be a total lockdown across the country. She noted that though prices of food commodities soared initially, they were compelled to reduce the prices because their vegetables and tubers, especially, were getting rotten.
“Some of us had to reduce the price of our foodstuffs to sell them on time and also be able to get some money for the upkeep of the family, as well to sustain the business,” she said.