National

COVID-19 bites sex workers

COVID-19 bites sex workers

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected a lot of businesses and commercial sex workers are not an exception.

The fear of being infected with COVID-19 has resulted in many losing their clients whiles others found it difficult to come by some.

By the nature of their business, they ‘sell’ sex to some men in the cities and towns at night for money.

Barely a month ago, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo eased restrictions on drinking bars, pubs, and nightclubs, allowing them to operate fully but observing the various safety protocols, including physical distancing.

But a lot of these nightclubs, drinking spots, and bars are not operating as they used to, a situation that is not only affecting owners of these entertainment centres but prostitutes as well.

Impact on sex workers

A visit by The Mirror to places such as the Channels London Bar at Kasoa SCC, Ronyz Restaurant, Eddys Pizza, Yellow Page and all drinking spots dotted along the Odorkor Kasoa highway were not operating as they usually do.

Those that usually had live bands on public holidays and weekends were operating with less than half of their members.

A chat with some of the sex workers in the areas visited showed the global pandemic was impacting on their income.

Unlike before, commercial sex workers are not getting clients

The situation has made prostitutes who usually ply their trade at these areas find it difficult to make money.

One of the sex workers, who didn't want to reveal her identity to this reporter, said “I went home during the lockdown because I was not getting clients, since people were afraid to come out because of the disease. It is only once a while that an old customer will call then if you are lucky, they meet you somewhere.”

Another sex worker, who gave her name as Success, explained that "some clients were frightened by the COVID-19, therefore, even when you convince them that you can wear a nose mask before you sleep with them they still don't get convinced."

"Unfortunately, we need the money, so we cannot stop the trade but we will keep persuading our clients to see if they will have a change of mind," she stated.

Ama (not her real name), who plies her trade around Asylum Down, said, “Our market is down due to the closure of a popular drinking spot nearby where I operate. As a result, most of the ladies have relocated to different parts of the city. Only a few of us come here once a while.”

Despite the challenges, some of them said the prices they often charge their clients remain the same.

While some charge between GH¢100 and GH¢200 half-night or a full night respectively, others take between GH¢80 and GH¢100.

One can also enjoy himself with GH¢25, GH¢40, or GH¢50 based on the location and the type of room chosen — be it a hotel or guest house.

For instance, a guest house along the Kasoa road charges GH¢30 for ‘short time’, excluding the charge for the sexual bout.