Vendors at Serekunda market, the country's busiest, have described how they continue to lose customers amidst fears of the deadly coronavirus that has hit the country.
This came in the wake of confirmed reports that a young woman who had returned from the United Kingdom, contracted the deadly virus.
This deadly disease has affected our businesses. Basic commodities such as rice, has increased to D1, 250 per bag and sugar, onion and oils have all increased according to the market vendors.
They explained how the virus has affected their social lives and said this would take time before normal business activities return to the market. They lamented on other challenges like the suspension of public gatherings; that this includes market activities where they earn a living.
Ba Jaiteh Marong explained how the global pandemic has affected his business.
"We rely on suppliers to buy from them and resell to make profit. We now face difficulties in our businesses because most of our exports come from China. This has stopped due to the global Coronavirus pandemic," he said; that as petty traders, they cannot increase prices on consumers; that there are sanitizers everywhere to protect oneself including those coming to the market.
Fatou Manneh who is a vendor at the Serekunda Market said her business is in decline; that we should come together to prevent the spread of the deadly disease in the country.
Mariama Senghore, another petty-trader explained that customers are no longer coming forward to buy from them in fear of the virus; that they will sit whole day without selling anything; that people will stroll pass their food items without buying anything.
"Customers should not fear to buy our food," Ms. Senghore said; that they know the risks involved and they have been updated on the virus by health officers.
Ms. Senghore said they are compelled to go out and sell because they have to feed their families and pay for their children's School fees and house rents.