Gambian business experiences slug amid first coronavirus

Monday, March 23, 2020

The business community has admitted that their businesses have experienced gradual loss and slug in speed following the country’s first case of the world’s novel deadly disease that triggered panic among the public.

The Gambia recorded first covid-19 case after a lady in her 20s returned to the country from the United Kingdom and tested positive.

However, many have said detection due to the epidemic and banning of all public gatherings and closure of schools in the country have hindered businesses.

Speaking to The Point in an interview at Westfield Junction on Thursday, Amadou Sarjo Jallow, a food vendor, said his business began to slowdown immediately after the health minister announced the detection of the deadly disease in the country.

“What I was selling before is quite higher than my current sales, because my customers are not coming anymore to buy food,” he said.

The food vendor said detection of covid-19 in the country has generated fear within the public, leading many to avoid buying food from vendors.

He added the slowdown of his business will affect him drastically because he depends on this petty job to sustain his family.

Khaddy Touray, food seller, also expressed similar sentiment on the poor market that has knocked the country, noting that her customers have not been coming to buy food since the declaration of the pandemic in the country.

Ebrima Jaiteh, commercial driver, said the epidemic has seriously hindered the work of drivers as the traffic is rapidly declining.

He added that the closure of the universities and schools has reflected on the traffic because passengers are not many within the municipality compared with when students were going to school.

“Our work is much better when the students are going to school. And since government closed the school, the traffic got worst. Now we will work the whole day yet we find it difficult to get the required money to deliver to our bosses (cars’ owners),” he lamented.

Fatou Jadama, cook for Kit Kat Restaurant, also said: “I used to sell about D20, 000 daily. But now I sell less than 5000 in a day. We are really losing drastically.”

Madi Mangan, economist and researcher at The Gambia Bureau of Statistic (GBOS), said the pandemic will cause a rise in demand for basic necessities, decrease demand for hotel and restaurant, accommodation, arts and entertainment services.

“We will expect a fall in the tourist arrivals, decrease impact of manufacturing services, a rise in health care expenditures and a general decline in the output of the services sector of the economy,” he said.

Author: Sulayman Waan