At Hanifa towers, Jimmy Kakooza said that the challenge they are facing is that people come at the same time and he can't put them on waiting because hand washing takes time. He also noted that it is also hard to enforce SOPs since the number of people accessing the building is overwhelming.
shopping malls in the Kampala Central Business have abandoned the Standard
Operating Procedures- SOPs put in place by the government to stop the spread of the
COVID-19 pandemic. In July, while reopening
arcades and shopping malls following three months of closure, president, Yoweri
Museveni directed the Health Ministry and Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA
to put in place guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.
among others that each arcade and shopping mall sets up a dedicated isolation
room for COVID-19 suspects, hand washing facilities, cleaners dressed in
personal protective gear and adequate detergents for hand washing. The Owners and operators were also advised to
install CCTV cameras at each entry, exit and level and provide a temperature
gun for measuring the body temperature of people entering their premises. They were also asked to ensure social
distancing and stop people from standing in corridors, verandahs, steps to
avoid congestion and keep records of everybody accessing their buildings.
community adhered to the guidelines in the first month. However, many seem to
have relaxed on the implementation of the measures. Uganda Radio Network-URN visited some of the
arcades such as Mukwano Arcade, Grand Corner Plaza, Arua Park Annex, Sekaziga
House, Arua Park Plaza, Magoba Shopping Mall, Mega Plaza and Modern complex.
Others include KK TRUST, Ham Shopping Grounds, Teddy’s Plaza, Nabugabo Arcade,
Kampala Plaza, Trust Arcade, E-M Plaza, and Galilaaya Shopping Centre and Court
tower among others. Our reporter observed that some of the arcades have handwashing facilities but no one is enforcing hand washing.
Several people easily accessed the buildings without washing
their hands. At Court Tower opposite the city square where there is urban
supermarket, there are water taps set for washing hands. However, a number of
people walked through without washing or sanitizing their hands.
managed to access the supermarket and other shops in the building using the entrances
with guards standing with temperature guns without checking him. Robert Semwanga, one of the attendants at the court tower, said
that he measures people and get tired.
In other arcades, even people in the
business said they have never heard about isolation room in their buildings. Semwanga
says that he was told by his bosses that if a person has 37 degrees and above
temperature s, he or she should be taken to isolation room.
However, no one has ever measured that temperature.
At Hanifa towers, Jimmy Kakooza said that the challenge they are facing is that
people come at the same time and he can't put them on waiting because hand washing takes time. He also noted that it is also hard to enforce SOPs since the
number of people accessing the building is overwhelming.
//Cue: “things have changed…
Cue…are not there”//
Lawrence Bukenya, a trader in Kikuubo dealing in plastics says people were
serious when the country had few COVID-19 cases but they have relaxed when the
number of patients and deaths has increased.
//Cue: “Omuntandikwa bulyomu…
Cue…engalo olumu kiziibu”//
At both entrances to the busiest area of Kikuubo, in July this year, there were
big hand washing facilities and two men used to force people to wash hands.
However, there is none at both entrances now.
In all the arcades URN reporter visited, there was no one registering customers.
Some people conduct their business in the corridors and the verandas. URN also
learnt that due to big number of people moving up and down, it has become very
difficult to ensure social distancing.
There are over 14,993 COVID-19 cases, 7,939 recoveries and
over 139 deaths in Uganda.