Likely next phase

Likely next phase

Utilities provider GEBE stepped up to the plate by slashing its fuel clause for six months (see related story) to offer a bit of relief in the coronavirus pandemic that has all but stalled the country’s tourism economy. Some already commented that this isn’t so difficult after the oil prices on the international market nosedived, but if it reduces monthly bills of both households and the business community by an average 30 per cent with equal usage as predicted, that would obviously be most welcome.

The government-owned company also won’t disconnect the electricity and water of clients in default for now. Its social gesture follows that of commercial banks offering their clients a break on loan and mortgage payments.

Another example of a slightly different nature is Cost-U-Less rationing products being hoarded by some due to the growing uncertainty. Several other wholesalers and supermarkets have since followed suit.

These are corporate citizens taking their responsibility as such, confirming that addressing this unprecedented global health crisis is not just a task of government but also the private sector; among other things, by respecting mandatory closures and limited operating hours in certain cases. Those allowed to open must practice social distancing too.

Every resident needs to cooperate as well and strictly follow guidelines or instructions from competent authorities. People ought to keep in mind that should the current approach prove insufficient and any significant local outbreak occur, a total lockdown with little to no movement possible at all would be the likely next phase.