The sale of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reduced drastically in the Tamale Metropolis of the Northern region with traders worried about the investment injected into the business.
A survey conducted by the B&FT within the Tamale Metropolis to ascertain the impact of COVID-19 on the sale of the PPE and how the demand and sale has been after three months of the virus outbreak indicated that the prices of face shield, that used to be GH¢50- GH¢100 now goes for as low as GH¢3 with some sellers even convincing people to buy them so that they can generate some revenue to defray the cost injected into the business.
The nose mask that went for GH¢5 is now as low as GH¢1 depending on the quality and the brand. The fabric with three linings is said to cost GH¢3 while the sale of the hand sanitizers also reduced from GH¢10 for 120 ml bottle to GH¢5.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices of PPE surged with surgical masks recording six-fold increase due to high demand boosting some business activities especially the youth within the local fabric industries with tailors and seamstresses taking advantage to engage in the manufacturing and selling of PPE.
Due to the surge in prices and to help everyone around the world to help prevent the disease’s spread, the World Health Organisation (WHO) PPE to 47 countries with governments and other private organisations also taking swift measures by providing the needed PPE to institutions to support the fight against COVID-19.
Due to the over-supply and constant education on preventive measures such as hand washing and social distancing, prices began to fall rapidly, leaving businesses that stock the PPE at higher prices feeling the pain of having to sell at lower prices just to get rid of the goods.
Gifty Boafo, a PPE seller said, the prices of face masks and shields have dropped drastically due to the fact that there are no strict rules enforced by the law against people without PPE in the metropolis. She added that the low patronage has affected their business and revenue and therefore appeal to the government to provide incentives to the local traders.
Baba Ali, who is also a seller attributed the low patronage of the PPE on low enforcement of the law adding that people only make patronage when they are entering public places like the banks, hospitals amongst others and face shields that recorded the highest sale than the PPE has seen a drastic change due to the misconception about its usage if not worn with a nose mask.
Baba Haruna a tailor said, the number of customers that patronize their PPE has dropped due to the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions by the President.