A few weeks ago, Nigeria recorded her first COVID-19 case when an infected Italian flew in with the deadly disease. As at 11:15 am on the 31st of March being today, there are 135 recorded cases in the country. Although there is no case of the virus in Uyo – the capital of Akwa Ibom State, one almost perceive the stench of fear among citizens.
However, the fear is understandable owing to the deadly nature of the disease. The business sector of the world’s economy has not been spared by the pandemic.
The aviation sector is at its loss due to travel restrictions. Due to the widespread and emergency lockdown, consumers stay at home thus businesses are losing revenues and laying off workers.
The World Economic Forum has also predicted that it would take 3 years for the US economy to recover. There is tension among businesses worldwide. Comparing the US economy which has already seen its fall to that of our country Nigeria. We see that the country needs an extraordinary intervention as the prices of oil the country’s sole has fallen.
Recently, there has been lots of speculations about cases of coronavirus in Akwa Ibom State. To understand the true state of things, the Business Engr team surveyed business owners in Uyo to find out how the pandemic is affecting them and the measures taken to not only protect themselves but their customers as well.
The brief survey was conducted along with areas of Ikot Ekpene – Oron Rd on Friday 27th of March. The team visited places like Apples, Urban kitchen, Metropolitan Supermarket, Geem Collections and others not mentioned.
On the bright side, we saw that most pharmacies are generating more income since the start of the pandemic. This is due to the surge sales of the product like hand sanitizers, gloves, nose masks.
Supermarkets/Grocery store are also experiencing a boost in sales as well as more people shopping for the lockdown since nobody knows how long it will last.
Service-based business inclined people like the hairdressers/barbers, tailors are in fear because when rendering their service, they require direct contact with their clients.
Hawkers at the bottom of the scale as fewer people gaining are plying the roads. From what the team saw and heard at the urban kitchen, a well-known eatery along Oron Rd, they said they have never experienced such loss since the started operating.
The most popular means of prevention – the use of hand sanitizers/ hand washing are very common in most business centres and are positioned at a strategic place which is the entrance.
Most pharmacies/supermarkets practice social distancing (1cm or 3 ft apart) as done in most banks which we know aids to combat the spread of the virus.
At the Metropolitan Supermarket, pamphlets which help in creating awareness of how this virus spreads and the symptoms to know if you contact the deadly virus were being distributed at a zero cost.
The coronavirus has not only wrecked lives but has also affected the standard of most businesses in Uyo.
It’s also good to know that in Uyo, most businesses are taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus; After all “prevention is better than cure”.