Businesspersons in Lilongwe have expressed fear that they may be bankrupt due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Following the announcement of the country’s first Covid-19 cases in April, government introduced precautionary measures to prevent the further spread of the pandemic, including regulation of market operations, salons and restaurants.
In random interviews, businesspeople said sales have gone down as most customers stopped patronising some places.
Nina Chigamba, who owns a salon in Area 18, said about 60 percent of her customers stopped coming.
“Most are working from home and do not see the need to visit a salon for a retouch of their hair and nails,” she said.
Chigamba also said most people think it is risky exposing their faces to a beautician; hence, resorting to home-made treatment remedies such as facial wash, hair wash and nail painting.
“Before Covid-19, I used to earn K200 000 in one weekend, but now the sales have dropped to K50 000 or less,” she said.
Options Car Rental director Phillip Chasowa said most car hire businesses depend on organisations who hire cars to travel for field work.
“We have been left handicapped ever since the stay home and work home preventive measure was introduced,” he said.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho said they were aware of the challenges businesspeople were facing in the city due to the pandemic.
“Councils came up with their own precautionary measures, including the ban on markets to contain the further spread of the pandemic. This has led to loss of businesses and loss of employment,” she said.