There is shortage of hand sanitisers in the Bolgatanga Municipality following the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive to managers of public places to put in place sanitisers to enhance hygienic practices against coronavirus infections and spread.
Some members of the public have instead resorted to methylated spirit and Akpeteshie (locally brewed gin) to sanitise their hands.
In some few places, prices of the hand sanitisers shot up astronomically by more than 500 percent.
The shortage is compelling some members of the public to go beyond ordinary methylated spirit to using Akpeteshie as disinfectants.
These were observed in Bolgatanga Township when views from the public were sought on the counsel the President gave on Sunday, March 15, as part of measures to reduce cases of coronavirus infections in the country.
A 250mls hand sanitizer, which was sold for GH¢7.00 is now going for between GH¢30.00-GH¢35.00, while 29mls holder hand sanitizer which was sold for GH¢2.50 now sells at wholesale price of GH¢7.00 and retailed for GH¢10.00.
The Ministry of Health through the Ghana Health Service has diagnosed seven cases of the disease in the country, which has prompted government to act with the urgency it requires.
On Sunday, the President announced the closure of public and private schools indefinitely with some reservations for candidates at the basic and second cycle levels.
Mr John Akaribo, a Computer Tutor and businessman who defended the use of Akpeteshie as a hand sanitizer, said: “in the absence of hand sanitisers, ‘Apio’ can be a good substitute. My only problem is that the smell is too strong and may raise suspicion.”
He said the normal hand sensitisers contained only about 70-75 percent alcohol, whereas the Akpeteshie was stronger than the 75 percent alcohol base and could easily fight gems including, bacteria and viruses.
Madam Sadia Iddrisu, a petty trader who had in stock some of the hand sanitisers said: “last week, I sold the product for GH¢3.00 and made less than fifty pesewas profit, but today I picked some from my sister and sold for GH¢7.00, but as you can see, it is just finished.”
Visits to some Banks including, Naara Rural Bank, GCB bank, ADB bank, and some market stores showed that some Bank managements, proprietors had observed some preventive measures for their customers.
Madam Grace Atiah, proprietress of Gratia Enterprise put in place some measures including, hand washing buckets fitted with taps (Veronica buckets) for her clients to wash their hands before and after visit.
According to her, she started practising handwashing with soap about a week before the President’s directives.