COVID-19: Veronica buckets 'missing' at markets, bus stations

Accra, July 26, GNA – Veronica bucket, a simple system, which promotes handwashing, is gradually becoming a hard-to-locate facility in the Accra Central Business District.

The handwashing stations, which used to be very visible, virtually littering market centres, are off the 'stance' with a few mounted with soaps, as the third wave of the COVID-19 driven by the delta variant, looms.

During a visit of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to markets and bus stations in the national capital, only a few of the buckets and soaps were seen and in some cases, the buckets were displayed with no soaps.

Madam Akosua Odwira, a trader at Tema Station, said the use of the wash stations was on the decline due to perceptions that COVID-19 infection was going down in the country.

She said but with the recent uptick, the "buckets will be brought back."

Madam Odwira called on the Government and local authorities to provide other protective equipment like facemasks and hand sanitisers to traders to curb the spread of the virus.

Mr Abraham Armah, Mamprobi Trotro Driver, said they had run short of the handwashing stations but were observing other protocols such as the wearing of facemasks.

He called on the local authorities to lead in providing modern handwashing stations with veronica buckets and soaps and enforce the adherence to the safety protocols to halt the third wave of the virus.

Mrs Harriet Naa Amerley, a Food Vendor, said the reason for the fewer veronica buckets and soaps was the unavailability of water in some parts of the Market.

She said they had to go to nearby markets and stations, sometimes, nearby offices to fetch water for use in the buckets.

Mr Isaac Nii Noye, an official at the office of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Tema Station, said they would enforce the provision of veronica buckets and soaps at the Station.

“We will ensure that all our drivers are adhering to the safety protocols, especially the washing of hands and wearing of nose masks. We will ensure that veronica buckets and soaps are at vantage points at the Station,” he assured.

The GNA observed that an appreciable number of traders and drivers wore facemasks during the visit, though, some had worn it inappropriately.

The Agency also visited Departments and Agencies at the Ministries and observed that almost all had handwashing stations.

Workers were also seen in facemasks, with a few clutching hand sanitisers.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a national televised address on Sunday, to keep the country abreast of the coronavirus situation and measures being employed by the Government to mitigate the situation, said Ghanaians needed to “remain steadfast in our adherence to the protocols, so we can overcome this third-wave of infections.”

The President, who last addressed the nation on the matter some ten weeks ago, said the country, per data from the Ghana Health Service, was experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infection driven by the Delta Variant, which had led to, in recent weeks, a rise in hospitalisation and Intensive Care Unit bed uptakes and deaths.

As at Saturday, July 22, 2021, the total number of active cases stood at 4,094.

Some 101,170 persons have since March 2020, been infected with the virus, and 96,255 persons have recovered from the disease.

The country lost 823 persons since the onset of the pandemic, with 40 of those deaths over the last ten weeks.

Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas remain the hotspots of infections.

“This entire development is very alarming, especially as we are being told by officials of the Ghana Health Service, that the recovery rate is on the decline… it is obvious from the data that we have let our guard down, with many going about their daily duties in clear breach and disregard for the protocols,” said the President.