Citizens and businesses have diverse views on the shut down of non-essential services in Seychelles for 21 days from Thursday to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Despite strict restrictions on the movement of people, the capital Victoria still had many circulating on Thursday, when SNA took to the streets to get the views of people and businesses.
Marie-Andre Alcindor, who lives in the central district of Roche, said she welcomes the new measures.
“We need to understand that there are things that are out of our control and we need to come down to run a few errands. But we should not linger around for long,” she told SNA.
Alcindor added that “people should listen to measures put forth by the Ministry of Health and if things go worse the 21 days of self-confinement should be extended.”
The new measures came after a 26-year-old Seychellois man who works as a ground handling staff at Seychelles’ international airport tested positive for the virus on Monday.
Daniel Quatre, who works for the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC), said that the measures are not working at all and believes that public transport should be shut down completely for the measures to be more effective.
Quatre said public transportation should be shut down for the measures to be more effective. ((Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“We need to close down all shops in Victoria, be it essential or not. If this is not done people will still be moving around and it will be difficult to control. It will add more work for the police,” said Quatre, who comes from the central district of Mont Fleuri.
On the order to stay home for 21 days, Quatre said: “it will make us more resilient and find ways to adapt to changes.”
A shopkeeper, Micheal Morel, said there are no clear directives being given by the authority.
“This is a total mess. The last directive given by the authority was that shops selling essential commodities will remain open until 6.30 p.m. Now they are pressuring us to close down.”
Josie Chetty, the owner of Health World Pharmacy, a business which falls under essential services, said that she expects people to continuously come to the pharmacy to purchase medication.
“Keeping the business open during this point in time is very essential as it cuts back on people needing to go to government health services for medication to treat minor ailments. However we are enforcing social distancing to everyone surging through our doors,” she said.
Chetty added that she has come up with a new plan using her Facebook page.
“I stay at Aux Cap and I am selling people medication residing from my place all along to Anse Royale, using my own transport without additional cost. We need to take into account our elders that cannot go out,” she told SNA.
While the retailers selling food items and pharmacies are still open, the measures put in place are having a major impact on non-essential businesses that have to shut down.
The owner of a hairdressing salon, Stacy Dingwall, said that before the announcement of the new measures her business was getting clients.
“Now it has gone bad to worse. It is a nightmare. We have our rental to pay. Workers are covered as the government will cover their salaries for three months. We are going to close down for 21 days and basically we will not get any revenue for a whole month. As employers or business owners we are not being covered,” said Dingwall.
When making the announcement on the restriction of people’s movement, Jude Gedeon, Public Health Commissioner said, “The principal objective of the measures is to break the transmission chain. So we have to stop people from circulating, detect those infected and remove them from circulation.”
Source: Seychelles News Agency