Today, 7/06/2021, is day of the 42 day partial lockdown and curfew provisions. The announcement came as the country recorded 5174 new cases within 5 days ie from the 31/05/2021 to the 4/06/2021, giving it the highest tally since the advent of COVID-19 in the country.
The upward trend is being linked to high risk social lifestyles including house parties, parties by politicians, extended family gathering, poor prevention and control practices at workplaces and public spaces, youth who are generally tired and want to return to normal life etc.
It is therefore, unfortunate that despite all the efforts by government, we continue as Ugandans to live without the threat of COVID-19 amidst us. That is why its important to strictly observe the Presidential guidelines and the Ministry of Health SOPs, as its the only way we can reduce the risks and protect each other against COVID-19.
As Joint Security Agencies, we do acknowledge and welcome the new punitive measures against the small percentage of reckless Ugandans, that are not doing their part of observing the Health SOPs. As we wait for the fine structure from the secretary to the Treasury, we continue to clamp down seriously offenders who are still flouting the partial lockdown restrictions.
All Territorial Commanders have been tasked to map out all businesses, schools, farming and non-agricultural activities, all worship centres, public and private transport, social events, etc, for effective monitoring.
- On travels:-
- They are to ensure that all public transport between and across districts are suspended for 42 days effective 10/06/2021, except for Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts.
- All bodabodas to transport one passenger or goods until 6pm.
iii. All cargo trucks should have a maximum of two people. Any excess persons will be forced to disembark and the driver fined heavily.
- All private vehicles should have a maximum of 3 people including the driver. Any excess persons will attract a fine. Those crossing to the neighbouring country should in addition have proof of COVID certificate.
- Public transport intra-district will be allowed. All districts to monitor movement through the use of CCTV and local scouts.
- Ambulance and security vehicles to operate normally.
- We are going to ensure all salons, lodges, garages, shopping arcades, hardware shops, supermarkets; taxi parks are observing very strict SOPs. Others include factories, construction sites etc.
- Weekly food markets and monthly cattle auction markets are suspended for 42 days.
- Food markets to continue operating with strict SOPs.
- Only pharmacies to work till curfew time.
- Businesses that close by 7pm.
- All schools are closed for the next 42 days. The district COVID-19 task force to ensure all teachers are as a MUST vaccinated to return to teaching.
- Agricultural farming to continue unhindered.
- All sporting events. The organisers to work with the district COVID-19 task force to ensure SOP compliance.
- On gathering
- All gatherings at communal places of worship, conferences etc are suspended for 42days.
- Marriage ceremonies and parties to be strictly allowed with up to 20 people.
- All house parties banned.
- Funerals and vigils to have up to 20 people
- All public places to maintain social distance and proper hygiene.
- All workplaces to maintain at least 30% employees.
We would like to caution members of the public against being complacent, simply because the COVID crisis is far from over. Our message is simple, DO not let down your guard, COVID is real and still active. With the partial lockdown of 42 days, people who will drop their guards, are at a greater risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
As the Joint Security Agencies, we want to be clear, that those who are considering disrespecting the Presidential guidelines and Ministry of Health SOPs, by breaking the rules and regulations, will definitely suffer consequences. This time round, we are going to do more to enforce the Public Health Orders in place. We have re-aligned our enforcement operations and efforts with the new public health orders.
The fact that enforcement alone cannot stop the virus from super spreading, we are calling upon the business community, corporate bodies, community groups to come up with local support teams to help identify offenders of COVID-19 SOPS within their respective sectors. They should record footages of COVID defaulters/offenders within their workplace, neighbourhood, on public/private transport and share with the nearest police station/unit. Our task teams will respond appropriately and issue tickets to the defaulters. The video evidence will be used to identify those in attendance and fines issued following an investigation.
We are hopeful that a strong community response of vaccination and being extra cautions with public health guidelines, will put us in a more secure position at the end of the 42 days.
CP Fred Enanga
7th June 2021