Workers, Residents Adapt to New Set of Rules During Pandemic

As some countries ease coronavirus restrictions, front-line workers around the world are still checking temperatures and sanitizing surfaces. And reminders for people to wash their hands still appear everywhere.

View Team
expand image
Mexico City, Mexico

Plague control specialist Alberto García sprays a mix of antibacterial sanitizer, surgical soap and water on his co-workers, Édgar Arturo Gómez, left, and Héctor Esquivel Flores. He previously used the same mix on the buildings and common areas of the Santiago Neighborhood Housing Unit in central Mexico City. The solution is one of the sanitary measures the Ministry of Health suggests.

Esquivel says the sanitation mix protects against viral diseases and helps mitigate the coronavirus.

“My work has increased by 100% since the virus arrived,” says Esquivel. “We have work between 12 and 14 hours, seven days a week; normally our workday was between eight and 12 hours.”

Mexico started lifting federal stay-at-home orders on May 30, but state leaders are now imposing their own restrictions. Mexico City is still under a strict stay-at-home order for all nonessential activities. Mexico has reported 139,196 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as of June 13, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. A total of 16,448 people have died.

Mar García, GPJ Mexico

expand image
Lusaka, Zambia

John Phiri, a health worker, tests Salim Banda for COVID-19 at a mosque in Lusaka’s Kamwala township. The Ministry of Health started mass testing in selected communities in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.

Officials in Zambia have mandated social distancing and restricted public gatherings since early March. Face masks are also required in public. As of June 13, Zambia has 1,321 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths.

Prudence Phiri, GPJ Zambia

expand image
Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Passengers wait in a queue to wash their hands at the Jaffna Central Bus Station in northern Sri Lanka. Officials relaxed the curfew imposed in Jaffna allowing people to move more freely throughout the city, and installed temporary facilities to encourage regular hand-washing.

Sri Lanka was under a strict stay-at-home order for most of April and May, but the country is now operating under a curfew from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily. As of June 13, Sri Lanka has 1,882 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths.

Vijayatharsini Vijayakumar, GPJ Sri Lanka

expand image
Kampala, Uganda

Mbabazi James, left, Selubidde Elvis and Okello Patrick clean the roof of a house in Kawaala-Kasubi, a suburb of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Homeowner Musasizi Monday turned off the home’s water supply to save money during the pandemic. The eight people who share the home now live off rainwater collected through the home’s gutters. Regularly cleaning the roof keeps impurities out of the water, Musasizi says.

“Instead of spending on the water, we can use that money to feed since we are always at home and we need food,” he says.

The trio of day laborers have been short on work during the pandemic. Mbabazi says this two-day job will provide each worker with food for four days.

Uganda has been under a nationwide lockdown since April 1. As of June 13, Uganda has 694 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.

Edna Namara, GPJ Uganda

expand image
Lusaka, Zambia

Health worker Chola Chilufya takes the temperature of travelers Faith Zulu, 3, and Vivian Tembo at the Chongwe Toll Gate in Lusaka, Zambia. To mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, workers check travelers’ temperatures, and those with a fever undergo further tests. Both travelers were cleared to pass the toll.

Prudence Phiri, GPJ Zambia

Global Press Journal reporters around the world have been covering the impact of the coronavirus in their communities. Their stories are published weekly, alongside a photo story. Click here to see more coronavirus coverage.