A lockdown will affect informal sector - Dr. Sarkodie
An economist, Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie, has said a large number of Ghanaians working in the informal sector will be negatively impacted should government order a lockdown in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19
Following the steady increase in the number of recorded cases in Ghana, there have been calls from various stakeholders to the government for a lockdown of the whole country or at least in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
The government is yet to officially announce any decision to that effect.
However, in the waiting periods, Dr Owusu Sarkodie in an interview with CitiBusiness News admitted that although a move in that direction will be hard for informal sector workers, he believes the government could mitigate the impact with the provision of subsidies on essential services to cushion the masses.
“In our case, it will be very difficult because of how many workers in the informal sector have accounts that can be credited. So, it will be very difficult. What I can propose is to subsidize certain things that we do. Now, everybody is home consuming electricity, the bill will obviously go high, the water bill will go high. So, I want to see if there is a possibility for the government to subsidize the electricity and the water bill. So, the informal sector is going to be a very big issue when there is a possible lockdown as most of the people there are poor,” he said.
Ghana has now recorded a total of 52 cases from the initial 27 confirmed cases with 2 deaths established with recoveries yet to be made.
Statistics from John Hopkins University shows that about 381,293 cases have been recorded with 16,572 deaths globally.
COVID-19 impact on businesses
The impact of the novel Coronavirus on economic activity is huge as many sectors of the economy have been shut down so as to respect the social distancing measures put in place to curb the spread.
The measures have also affected the supply of goods into the country as a result of countries closing their boarder and drop in equity prices, part of efforts to reduce the spread of the disease.
Some of these measures include large-scale quarantines and travel restrictions has driven a sharp fall in consumer and business spending.
Consumers stay home, businesses lose revenue and to some extent, pushed to lay off workers which have the possibility of deepening unemployment levels.