Police Raid Bars Operating Illegally, Arrest 2124 For Flouting COVID-19 Regulations

Police Raid Bars Operating Illegally, Arrest 2124 For Flouting COVID-19 Regulations

By Ivan Mwine

The police in Kampala Metropolitan Area have intensified operations to close all bars that are illegally opening doors to revelers, in a bid to implement COVID-19 regulations.

Over the weekend  the police, together with officials from the Ministry of Health and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), conducted a joint operation within Kampala, during which they raided several bars from where they arrested revelers who were partying.

Some of the bars that the police raided include Gabz Lounge, The Level, The Hickory, and The Yard among others, from where they netted numerous revelers who were found partying and smoking shisha without maintaining social distance, wearing masks or observing any other Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The police collected hundreds of Shisha pots from the bars that they raided.

Dr. Musa Lukwata Ssentongo, who was part of the operation, said that; “The suspects were all found in total contravention of COVID-19 standing regulations.”

He added that the operations will continue being carried out in several parts of the country in a bid to achieve to the observance of COVID-19 regulations so as to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

He revealed that the suspects were all taken to Kira Police Station where they will be charged with conducting themselves in a manner likely to spread a deadly disease.

Commenting about the operations, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga, has since issued a statement in which he says thus;

“As you are all aware, we are into the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is more deadly and devastating. It is worse than the first wave, since it is more transmissible and affecting young people including children this time round.

For instance, during the course of last week, 1390 new cases were registered, within two days of 27th – 228th May, 2021. 

Many of the revellers were founding smoking Shisha, which is illegal

The most affected areas being Kampala, Wakiso, Moroto, Tororo, Luwero, Kalungu, Mbarara, Kibuku and Iganga among others. This according to the health experts is being attributed to people being complacent and less cautious.

Due to the lockdown fatigue the majority have gone back to the old normal of having large wedding parties, large congregations in worships centres, sporting events, markets, arcades, being transported at 100% capacity in buses, taxis and on bodaboda, stealthy going to bars, without taking precautions as they go unmasked and do not observe physical distance.  The other danger is our young adults, think the situation has returned to normal, whereas not.

Now we are experiencing a second wave of corona virus infection that is worse than the first. However, when issues of non-compliance due to behavioural fatigue, put our country at risk, there are enforcement measures in place to help protect the health and safety of Ugandans.

As a result, we are now focusing our enforcement efforts on high risk settings to minimize the risk of the virus super spreading.

These areas include; public transport of buses, taxis, bodabodas, arcades, markets, schools, malls, restaurants, retail shops in trading centres, congregations at worships centres, weddings, bars operating illegally, etc.

All our Territorial Commanders have become more punitive in our approach to COVID-19 infractions. We continue to punish offenders with fines, penalties and charges as one way of bringing the epidemic under control. In the course of the week 445 motor vehicles and 2,088 motorcycles were impounded for violating the curfew timings. 

A total of 2124 suspects were also arrested for flouting the health SOPs and curfew timings.  They are set to appear in court. We urge all Ugandans and visitors that everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus.  Enforcement is only one component.

We hope the vaccination exercise which has begun to pick-up, will play a big part in controlling the wave of this pandemic.”

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