By Simon Abaho
Police have said that despite easing of the lockdown by President Yoweri Museveni, they are to intensify curfew operations as one of the measures to control the spread of the deadly virus.
President Museveni on Friday announced the easing of the 42-day lockdown after a reduction in daily confirmed cases from 1735 to an average of 71 per day now, whereas the positivity rate has also gone down from 22% to only 8%.
The president however noted that the curfew will remain in place at 7:00Pm and end at 6:30Am
“This is intended to avoid breaching of guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures and thuggery under the cover of darkness,” Museveni said.
Addressing journalists on Monday, the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said that after easing of the lockdown, many Ugandans will tend to violate the guidelines that are still in place including the curfew hours and he noted that security agencies will continue enforcing the guidelines.
“Our message still remains very clear and consistent that let us strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols in place. Since we are not yet at a zero COVID-19 level, our focus remains enforcement of the partial lockdown and curfew,” Enanga said.
“We are going to ensure all private and public motor vehicles are operating at the recommended capacity of three persons for private cars, two persons for cargo, and for public transport at 50% operating capacity, boda bodas to strictly carry one passenger from 5:30 am – 5:30 pm. Any motorists, drivers and passengers working, outside these controlled provisions, will have their movements disrupted and sanctions of fines, penalties, and punishments taken against them,” he added.
The police spokesperson said security officers will ensure compliance with the SOPs for businesses at Kikuubo, all malls, arcades and other shopping centers as directed by the president as he eased the lockdown last week.
Enanga said security agencies will also ensure government ministries, departments and agencies adhere to the 20% requirement of staff allowed to work as directed by the president.
“The advantage with the new guidelines is that they will be reviewed on a bi-weekly basis for infection trends. We, therefore urge all the sectors indicated above to appoint managers responsible for implementing the precautionary measures, behaviour of their staff and the clientele they serve,” Enanga noted
Over 2000 arrested
The police publicist also said that in the previous week, a total of 2336 persons were arrested for flouting curfew and other lockdown guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of the deadly virus.
“Of these, 1624 were cautioned, 206 were released on bond, 59 are pending appearance in court, 430 persons were taken to court whereas a total of 696 motor vehicles were impounded, out of which 559 were issued with express penalty system tickets and 137 motorists were cautioned,” Enanga said.
He added that a total of 3952 motorcycles were impounded, out of which 2551 were issued with express penalty system tickets,835 riders cautioned whereas 299 motorcycles are still unclaimed.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, as of July 31, Uganda’s cumulative COVID-19 cases since March 2020 were 94425 but of these, 84959 have fully recovered and returned home.
The country has also registered 2710 Covid deaths during the period whereas the test positivity rate is at 6.5%.