COVID-19: Police Move to Stop Group Jogging

The Uganda Police Force has said they will start enforcement to make sure joggers stick to social distancing regulations.
05 Apr 2020 14:12
Participants jogging after the marathon

The Uganda Police Force has said they will start enforcement to make sure people jogging stick to social distancing regulations.     

Following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Uganda, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has banned all public gatherings, public and private transportation and asked Ugandans to stay home. Uganda already has 48 cases of COVID-19.   

However many Ugandans are taking on a culture of physical exercise in various forms like jogging and walking. Although some of these people exercising observe social distancing, in many occasions those jogging are in large groups, more than the recommended number of five and also not observing the recommended one meter distance.   

On Sunday morning videos and pictures on different social media sites emerged showing a large number of Ugandans, over 200 people jogging closely to each other at the northern by pass. Many of them are also jogging and keeping fit in open fields around the city. 

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigire said that although there is no directive of stopping jogging, the problem is that those jogging are not keeping social distancing. He says this is a matter that has just come up, and as police they are going to ensure that people adhere to the social distance guidance.

“We are going to ensure that the joggers do not gather in large groups, and that they observe social distancing,” says Owoyesigire.

The Ministry of Health has also continued to ask people to observe social distancing even as they jog. 

The Minister for Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has said people are taking advantage of the stay at home to do physical exercise to keep fit and fight Non communicable diseases, but they need to keep a distance of at least 4 meters from each other. “And do not go out in large numbers of crowds," said Dr. Aceng.

"Do not be more than 5 people, God bless. Stay home and stay safe,” Dr. Aceng posted on social media. The Ministry of Health’s Permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine said they have taken note of the increased number of people jogging and mixing .

“While we welcome the practice of keeping people healthy, we advise that we must avoid crowds. Social distancing must apply at all times. Security needs to intervene,” said Atwine.

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