The South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) has directed market leaders to provide sanitisers, soap and water tap containers in visible locations in markets to check spread of coronavirus.
Chief Gozie Akudolu, President-General of SEAMATA, umbrella body of all traders in the South-East, gave the directive in a statement issued on Monday in Enugu, tagged: “Emergency Alert’’.
Akudolu listed seven actions for market leaders and all traders in the zone to comply with to keep their customers and themselves safe from the highly contagious corona virus.
“Following the pandemic outbreak across the globe of coronavirus, and the rate of increase in its incidence today, SEAMATA has directed all markets in the South East as a matter of urgency to implement the following with immediate effect.
“Ban immediately, all handshakes, hugging and all form of body contact greetings and salutations in the markets. Suspend immediately, all general prayer sessions in all the markets.
“Suspend all prayer sessions in all the zones and lines in all the markets. Suspend all general meetings in the markets until the pandemic is successfully controlled in the country.
“All markets shall provide soap and water big plastic containers with taps at strategic locations in all the lines and zones in the markets.
“All lines in the markets shall position soap and water in a big plastic container with tap at a visible location in the line for both members of the line and visitors/customers.
“All shop owners in all markets shall immediately, provide soap, water and sanitizers for himself/herself and customers, who must first wash his/her hands before any transaction.
“Solid arrangements shall be made by all markets for constant refilling of water and replacement of soap at all times,’’ he said.
The market boss said that all state presidents are directed to work with the chairmen of various markets in their states to effectively enforce and supervise this all important directives to the letter.
“The association, at this point, is passionately appealing to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency to provide a test centre for Covid-19 in the South-East for prompt and speedy response to any suspected case.
“It is our prayer that the God that delivered us from Ebola virus shall protect us from this COVID-19,’’ he added.
Newsmen report that SEAMATA in January advised traders in the country to shelve travelling to China and some Asian countries hit by the virus until the situation improves.
The association specifically urged traders to conduct their transactions with their Chinese and Asian partners through use of electronic and internet channels or platforms.