Measles epidemic hits market vendors

 The toll from the measles outbreak is not confined to health and education. 

It is also beginning to hurt pockets.

At the Savalalo market yesterday, vendors told the Samoa Observer they have seen fewer people visit the market since the outbreak started three weeks ago.

Tina Meaalofa, from Solosolo, who is a vendor at Savalalo, suspects that people are choosing to stay home to be protected from the virus.

“Business for us has been very, very slow,” she said.

“Since this stuff about the measles, we’ve seen fewer people visit the market. I suspect everyone is scared.”

Another talo vendor, Tautai Ulugia, has noticed the same issue. He believes it might be best for him to sell his produce in front of his house at Aleisa to avoid the crowded places.

“It’s al common sense now,” he said.

“If there’s less people coming to the market because of measles then we should look for places with no crowd because if I was one of the customers, I’d buy from there because it’s safe.”

It’s not just the farmers and vendors affected.

Maselino Kalaleli, who runs a shop at the Savalalo market, is considering closing his store until the measles outbreak is finished.

“How it usually is for us is that we sleep here at the shop at nights like it’s our home and we only go home during the weekends,” she said.

“There’s no one at home to look after my children but I guess I have no choice but to go home with them.”

As of Thursday, the Ministry of Health confirmed that there are 513 suspected cases of measles.

The Ministry said cases confirmed by blood testing have now reached 48, up from 15, in an update covering the period from Sunday, October 27 to Monday, November 4.

The October 27 update registered 314 suspected cases.

The Ministry said no further people have died from measles related illnesses (three, including two children, have previously passed away from suspected infections).

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture has already ordered all school prize giving, graduation and camps to be cancelled.

Most of the schools will finish for the year next week.


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