Despite the risk posed by COVID-19, inhabitants of Guinea Bissau capital Bissau show mixed levels of concern with regard to social distancing measures.
At the capital’s main markets, some efforts have been made to raise awareness about the potential for contamination in the country of about 1,800,000 inhabitants.
The challenges are however plain as Ligan Mendes, a market monitoring officer admits: “We don’t have enough masks. But there are people who come in using scarves to protect themselves.”
Some say things are well organised, but effort should be made to raise awareness so that people cooperate better.
“I wear a mask to protect myself from the dust, not the virus! I don’t believe in it. I’m using it as I’m also going to visit someone who’s sick in the hospital,” Udé Djassi, a shopper admitted.
But for Aissatu Candé, a vegetable seller, she cites an existing health problem as her reason for not wearing a mast: “I don’t use a mask because I have a heart palpitation problem. That’s why.”
As of April 24, confirmed cases stood at 50 with three recoveries and zero deaths. The case count makes Guinea-Bissau one of the least affected countries in West Africa.