Coronavirus Disrupts Education and Economies Worldwide

As countries scramble to contain the pandemic, students and workers endure some of the biggest side effects. Many children no longer attend school, and millions of people have lost their jobs. These photos underscore the impact of the virus on two critical aspects of daily life.

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Umnugovi, Mongolia

Munkhbaatar Poliog disinfects a silent kindergarten classroom in Mongolia’s Umnugovi province. The country closed schools in January through at least April 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“This work needs to be done on a regular basis,” says Munkhjargal Adiya, director of a local kindergarten, anticipating the eventual reopening. “Only then will we be able to receive the children of many families in our kindergarten.”

Mongolia, one of the first countries to take the precaution of securing borders and closing schools, has confirmed 14 cases as of April 4.

Uranchimeg Tsoghuu, GPJ Mongolia

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Kampala, Uganda

Ronald Mayanja sells homemade hand-washing equipment at Kampala’s Nakawa Market. He attaches taps to jerry cans, metal vessels used to store liquid. He then props the cans up on stands and sells them as hand-washing containers.

Mayanja’s ingenuity has paid off. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he rarely sold more than two of his containers a day. Now, he sells about 10 per day, for 70,000 Ugandan shillings ($18) each.

The government has helped his cause by promoting basic hygiene. “We have issued guidelines and one of them is to tell people to regularly wash their hands,” says Emmanuel Ainebyoona, senior public relations officer at the Ministry of Health. Those who can afford it, he says, should wear masks and gloves. Uganda has confirmed 48 cases as of April 4.

Beatrice Lamwaka, GPJ Uganda

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Students scrub their hands outside the École Nationale République du Brésil in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Before the government suspended classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the school required students to wash their hands regularly.

Mirlène Lamontagne, the school’s principal, has tried to instill the importance of this simple action. “We are not ready to face such a virus,” she says. “If it spreads, it will be a disaster for the country.”

Haiti has 18 reported cases as of April 4, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. Rose-Myrtha Germeille, one of the students who can no longer attend school, tries another routine at home. The 15-year-old drinks warm water and ginger tea because her parents tell her the virus can’t withstand heat.

Marie Michelle Felicien, GPJ Haiti

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Kampala, Uganda

Masid Opolot wears gloves to handle money at an international money transfer center in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

“I make sure I use hand sanitizer after serving a customer,” says Opolot, who also dons a mask at work. The Ugandan government, which has banned transport and set a nationwide curfew to guard against the coronavirus, is encouraging people to opt for electronic money transactions over cash.

“Handling physical money is one of the ways in which the coronavirus is spread,” says Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health’s senior public relations officer.

Apophia Agiresaasi, GPJ Uganda

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Mannar, Sri Lanka

Residents of Mannar, a district in northern Sri Lanka, distance themselves as they wait outside the Bank of Ceylon. Officials have implemented curfews to thwart the spread of the coronavirus, but the lockdown varies in length depending on the region.

Those in line are taking advantage of a curfew respite from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to stock up on cash and buy groceries. Sri Lanka has confirmed 162 cases and five deaths as of April 4.

Vetrichelvi Chandrakala, GPJ Sri Lanka

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