Service Providers Adapt to Coronavirus Restrictions

Musicians, barbers, medical professionals and others have had to alter their practices to continue to serve the public during the worldwide battle against the coronavirus. Creative thinking and mobility help.

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Mexico City, Mexico

Juan Carlos Moreno, left, and Carlos Moreno play songs on their marimba, a percussion instrument, for tips at the South Santiago Housing Unit, an apartment building in downtown Mexico City. The duo used to play at private events or in crowded marketplaces, says Carlos Moreno, but the suspension of nonessential activities in Mexico due to the coronavirus means they have to think more creatively about where to play.

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Jesús Esparza Sánchez also entertains residents of the South Santiago Housing Unit with his music. Esparza Sánchez has been an organ grinder for 22 years and usually plays at eastern Mexico City’s Central de Abasto, the largest wholesale market in Mexico, but musicians have been unable to play there since April 26 due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Mexico has reported 170,485 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as of June 20, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. A total of 20,394 people have died.

Mar García, GPJ Mexico

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Nansana, Uganda

Sekamate Nobert cuts Elijah Agaba’s hair at Agaba’s home in Nansana, a town in Uganda’s Wakiso district. Barber shops and salons have been closed along with all other nonessential services since April 1, so Nobert has been traveling door to door to provide services to Nansana residents.

As of June 20, Uganda has 763 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.

Edna Namara, GPJ Uganda

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Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi Province, Mongolia

Doctors and other medical professionals examine potential soldiers at the annual military recruitment in Dalanzadgad, the capital of southern Mongolia’s Umnugovi province. In past years, these examinations would take place on one day, but this year, organizers spread them out over three days to prevent overcrowding in the exam hall, hoping to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

The men who received examinations were ages 18 to 26. In addition to performing a neurological assessment, the medical professionals checked the men’s teeth, ears, nose, throat and eyes to determine their eligibility for military service.

As of June 20, Mongolia has 204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.

Uranchimeg Tsoghuu, GPJ Mongolia

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Cheddikulam, Northern Province, Sri Lanka

Alfred Mariyanayagam patches a bicycle tire at his repair shop in Cheddikulam, a small town in Sri Lanka’s Northern province. Like other nonessential services, Mariyanayagam’s shop was closed in March and April, but he was able to reopen it in May. His services have been in great demand since then, as more people move around the town.

As of June 20, Sri Lanka has 1,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths.

Thayalini Indrakularasa, GPJ Sri Lanka

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