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Elubo: Traders demonstrate over anti-COVID border closure

Traders demonstrate in Elubo

Traders demonstrating in Elubo

Scores of traders marched in Elubo in the Western Region on Thursday 2 September in the latest demonstration for the border to be reopened.

Dubbed the “Open Our Border Now Demonstration”, the protest is the second within a week, following a similar one on Friday in another border town: Aflao in the Volta Region.

Clad in red and black outfits, the demonstrators said they are going through hard times and that business has been on the low in the Jomoro District because of the closure of the border with Côte d’Ivoire. They gave the government a two-week ultimatum to reopen it.

They wielded placards with inscriptions such as “We can’t pay our children’s school fees”, “We are dying” and “Close Kotoka International Airport now, that is where COVID came from”.

 

The acting municipal chief executive for Jomoro, Ernest Kwofie, after receiving their petition, said their grievances would be forwarded to the Office of the President.

The MP for Jomoro, Dorcas Affo-Toffey (NDC), said the government must open the borders within two weeks or else “they will face the consequences”.

“It’s affecting the livelihood of our people. We’re pleading with the president to do something. Within two weeks something must be done.

“Why open the main airport and keep the land borders shut? We can put in place proper measures to control COVID-19 at the land borders, too,” she said.

 

 

President Akufo-Addo announced the closure of Ghana’s land borders in March 2020 after the first outbreak of COVID-19, in an effort to contain the viral disease.

 

 

Government may open land borders soon

Ghana is likely to reopen her land borders in the next few weeks, depending on the effectiveness of a new testing regime.

The borders have been closed for longer than a year because of the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Speaking to Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday (3 August), Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, a former deputy minister of health, said: “So, as we speak, officially our land borders are closed, but cargo is allowed, and you know cargo comes with the driver and one or two loaders.

“So, what is happening now is that the COVID test board, chaired by the president, has approved the use of other antigen technology at some of these borders so that at least the drivers of these cargoes can be subjected to tests.”

He added: “Now, based on the experiment [and] how the testing goes, we might consider opening the borders with that technology or with that testing in place.”

Fred Dzakpata

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