Ver Angola


Worried Luandans can no longer find masks in pharmacies

The Luandans woke up in a city with less traffic, the effects of the 15-day forced stop with which the Government tries to control the spread of Covid-19, but also more concerned and attentive to the evolution of the pandemic.


In the capital, which this Tuesday started a suspension of at least two weeks in teaching, sports, cultural and religious activities, as well as several public services, forcing many citizens to stay at home, Lusa noted the rush of citizens for the acquisition of goods, especially in the parallel market, where few comply with protection measures.

Among the considerable agglomeration of people lacking protective materials in the Pedrinhas market, in the Congolese area, on the outskirts of Luanda, a minority with masks and / or gloves arouses attention, but everyone guarantees to be “attentive” when the pandemic evolves.

The scenario of the open market in the urban district of Rangel, in Luanda, with salespeople at the side of the road and some difficulties in customer traffic, collides with the authorities' recommendations on the ban on agglomerations.

Many are aware of the danger they are in, but argue in unison that their “breadwinner” passes through the market. “Masks, masks for us”, asked the salespeople.

The country has already registered three confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, according to the authorities, who have been reinforcing the alert for protection measures.

As restrictive measures to protect the new coronavirus, the headquarters of the National Electricity Distribution Company (ENDE), began to serve its customers in stages in Luanda.

The phased service caused a flood at the door, where signs on the preventive measure against covid-19 are visible, which customers consider “understandable” considering the spread of the new coronavirus around the world.

"The service is slow, but I think the measure is right because it is a contagious disease, easily transmitted and care is needed," student José Tchivale told Lusa, while waiting in line.

Waiting for almost half an hour to access the interior of the ENDE agency, in the neighborhood of São Paulo, in Luanda, was also Daniel da Costa César, who "despite the delay" considered the measure as "right".

The civil servant, Maria Elizabeth Nunes, flanked by more than 50 people, defended generalized quarantine, referring that the ideal "is to be at home" and "not to stand in line to pay for energy".

Similar measures were adopted at the water company, EPAL-EP, which only allowed two customers to enter at a time, having marked the place on the floor where they should be placed.

In front of the Banco Bic branch, on Avenida Alameda Manuel Van-Dúnem, several customers also stood out, waiting to be served, given the restrictive measures of access control by security agents and which require hand hygiene at the entrance, a practice verified in pharmacies, restaurants and other commercial establishments visited by Lusa.

“In view of the situation we are experiencing, there is no longer any hurry, [there are] fewer people inside and that is why we are crowded out here,” said Hebo Carlos, with a face mask.

Domingas da Costa sells breakfast on the street. With the “indispensable” protective mask, he told Lusa that his day's work went “more or less” due to the reduced number of clients, “making covid-19 responsible” for the decrease.

Lamentations for the lack of customers also arose from the motorcycle taxi driver, Adriano Lourenço, referring that people “are afraid of contagion” when circulating motorcycles, known locally as “kupapata”.

“Our day-to-day lives are stopped due to the coronavirus and that stopped our work”, he shot.

In turn, the pharmacist Angelina Marcolino Vionga pointed out that the establishment where she works, on Avenida Deolinda Rodrigues, in the center of the capital, has not had hygiene and protection material for four days.

 “The day-to-day is bad, because there is a lot of demand, there is no alcohol gel or alcohol, the deposits have nothing available, people have to walk under the sun, looking. There is a lot of need, and where there is a lot of flooding ”, he pointed out.

Another pharmacy, at Maianga, also made gloves and alcohol gels available to customers who were at the site, practically everyone looking for this type of material, but also no longer had masks.

At the Jumbo hypermarket, one of the oldest in Luanda, there is no break in 'stock', but the demand for some of the main consumer products, such as water, rice and vinegar, also used as a disinfectant, has increased. In some places, bleach is already thinning.

According to Lusa, a source close to the management of the commercial establishment, the surface had to “impose limits” on customers due to the “high quantities” that were being acquired.

Another supermarket in the city was also rationing the amount of water, determining that each customer could only purchase two sets of six and a half liter units with each purchase.