Opinion

How COVID-19 is affecting lives and businesses

By Ngor Khot Garang

Coronavirus is a very dangerous disease with flu-like symptoms.  The virus spreads faster than normal and it can affect both animals and human beings in equal measure. The virus also known as COVID-19 is believed to have made its way from a market which sold dead and live animals including birds and reptiles in a place called Wuhan, in Hubei province, China.

The World Health Organization has confirmed the corona virus as pandemic and it has sparked alarms worldwide. Since its outbreak early this year, around 6,400 deaths have been recorded and over 167,000 people are confirmed to be infected globally.

In Africa, more especially the countries with weak health care systems and low literacy rate, the impacts of the disease would be devastating and only God know the fate of the African.

It is no doubt that the COVID-19 has proven itself to be a visible enemy twisting and tossing lives around. Businesses are grappling, football matches have been discontinued and many schools worldwide have been closed down to reduce the spread of the virus and many students find it hard to attend classes due to the growing threats of the virus. The airline companies have felt the sharp impacts of the virus due to restrictions on international flights.

The virus has greatly shaken the global economies and there are fears that it could lead to global recession and the results are going to affect many African countries greatly. The general public needs to be sensitized that the coronavirus is a deadly disease and we all need to take the cautious measures like washing hands regularly with soap and clean water after shaking hands with a stranger to combat the pandemic.

Everything has to be taken seriously this time. I mean all the preventive measures and how to protect oneself from the disease. The virus is contagious and it is even worse with countries with poor health facilities. As I write this article, around 26 African countries have confirmed cases of the coronavirus and many cases are yet to be confirmed.

It is never going to be easy to contain the virus but we should all be strong as we used to be. The virus kills, which is a sad reality but we have always been strong people since the liberation struggle up to this day. We have seen horrible things and grounds lined with dead bodies but we managed to get through it.

Corona is a disease like other epidemic diseases and it will soon disappear the same way it first appeared. The problem is with the people who have taken advantage of the virus to make super profits out of this fateful situation. Yesterday the price of liquid hand disinfectant (Hand sanitizer) was SSP 500 but today it has climbed to 2,500 which cannot be afford by a common man.

The market prices are also soaring and majority of South Sudanese are poor, which will make life harder than before. The business community should put humanity first before what they can gain. The virus spares no one and as humans with the same body and soul, it is through this awful time that we must stand together with our God and fight the common enemy. We have to always be vigilant of the disease because our health comes first and knowing our health status is the best knowledge ever.

Our people are ignorant and it is the role of the government to ensure that people are protected from this deadly disease by making thorough check up at the border and at the airport. The virus, if not taken seriously could claim as many lives as it could than war, which has left most of the African countries in ruins.

The war was triggered and propagated by men with human hearts but what about a disease without a heart?  The results could be really devastating. As a matter of fact, many people are not going to provide food for their families because many businesses would be closed down for the fear of contracting the disease.

And for a country like South Sudan that receives its food items from countries like Uganda and Kenya, the impacts of the virus could really be catastrophic because the boarders are going to be closed down to prevent the virus from entering the country. Let us come together as one family and fight the coronavirus at all costs for the safety of all the masses.  

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