Taking a break from work used to be a rare option for Ali Farag, a restaurant cook in Kuwait, but the coronavirus concerns now confine the people to their homes, with almost no customer showing at his restaurant.
This 30-year-old man from Egypt told Xinhua that he may lose his job soon as the revenue of his restaurant, located in the old Al-Mubarakiya market in the capital Kuwait City, has been declining over the past weeks.
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“No one is around even at the weekend,” he said.
“Usually, it was rare to find an available table in our restaurant, especially at weekend, but it seems coronavirus has destroyed our lives,” Farag complained.
Al-Mubarakiya market, one of the oldest ones in Kuwait, is used to be crowded with visitors, where they can taste the most famous and traditional Kuwaiti cuisine such as majboos with meat and Zubaidi fish.
However, since the discovery of the first coronavirus case in the country, more and more people have started to stay at home and refrain from eating out.
Wearing a medical mask, Zakaria Ahmed, a bakery salesman at the market, told Xinhua that he didn’t sell anything for a week and the situation is getting worse.
Malik Hassan, who has been selling fresh juice for 15 years, also complained about the slack business as his juice sales has dropped by 70 percent over the past week.
“I barely earn five Kuwaiti dinars (16.37 U.S. dollars) per day,” Hassan said.
The vegetable and fruit market has also lost customers despite the availability of all kinds of local and imported fruits and vegetables.
“Everyone now is afraid of the coronavirus infection,” said Abo Ali, a 70-year-old greengrocer. “Few customers come to get their groceries and they leave in a hurry.”
In addition, with the declining sales, the vendors still have to afford the rentals and the workers’ wages, Hamad Al-Essa, a spice merchant, told Xinhua.
The market has never witnessed such a difficult period as it does today, he noted.
Considering the potential spread of the coronavirus as Kuwait has reported 61 infection cases, the health ministry has repeatedly called on everyone to stay at home and avoid gatherings.
Iman Khalifa, a 34-year-old Kuwaiti citizen, told Xinhua that he is optimistic about the government’s procedures to control the spread of coronavirus, saying the day will come when the market comes back alive. Enditem
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