Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner who also chairs the District COVID-19 Task Force told URN on Monday evening that the decision to close the markets was reached in their meeting early in the day.
Captain Peter Mugisha, Kisoro Resident District Commissioner
District COVID-19 Taskforce has closed three markets citing non-compliance
with the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The affected are Gatimba market, Old market and Rusiza market all in Kisoro
Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner who also chairs the District
COVID-19 Task Force told URN on Monday evening that the decision to close the
markets was reached in their meeting early in the day.
He said that after the meeting, the District COVID-19 Taskforce moved to the affected markets and
asked food vendors to stay away because of their failure to observe the SOPs
amidst the escalation of COVID-19 infections.
that there was congestion in the three markets, which couldn’t allow for the
recommended physical distance to avoid infection. Mugisha says that most of the
vendors have also not been wearing face masks and sanitizing their hands because
they were no handwashing facilities.
He said the markets will remain closed
until they sort themselves with the municipal authorities on the enforcement of
the SOPs, adding that whoever attempts to return to the market without
authorisation will be arrested. Nick Muneza, the Kisoro District Assistant
Health Officer backed the decision to close the markets, saying that they have
registered 362 positive COVID-19 cases since the start of this month.
that 35 of the 362 cases are at Kisoro and Mutorere Hospitals while 327 are under
home care management. He said 11 out of the 35 cases in the hospital are on life
support. According to Muneza, they have also registered eight deaths related to
COVID-19. The decision of the task force has not gone down well with the
vendors. Fred Ndagije, a Matooke vendor at Gatimba market faults the task force for rushing to close the markets without giving them prior notice.
He says that decision is likely to affect their survival
since they don’t have alternative means to feed their families. Kellen
Komugisha, another Matooke vendor in Rusiza market, says that she is likely to
suffer a loss of Shillings 2 million because of the abrupt closure of the
immediate, saying that she had just offloaded a truck of bananas from Ntungamo.
Komugisha wants the task force to help organize them instead of chasing them
from the markets, which is their only source of survival. In his directives,
president, Yoweri Museveni advised vendors to stay in the markets in strict
observance of the SOPs.