On Saturday evening, the youth stationed on all routes leading to Fort Portal city with the placards. Some of the placards called on members of the public to wear masks properly, others advised people to avoid crowds while others carried messages encouraging hand washing and social distancing.
Fort Portal Tourism City COVID-19 taskforce
has partnered with youth to promote the Standard Operating Procedures – SOPs following
the reported surge in the cases of the deadly virus. The youth carry
placards and stand at strategic public places with messages calling for
adherence to SOPs.
On Saturday evening, the youth stationed on all routes leading to Fort Portal city
with the placards. Some of the placards called on members of the public
to wear masks properly, others advised people to avoid crowds while others
carried messages encouraging hand washing and social distancing.
Around Mpanga market, the roadblock was being manned by police who turned away
everyone without a mask. The Fort Portal
Resident City Commissioner – RCC, Rodgers Mbabazi told our reporter that they
have embarked on strict enforcement of all the COVID-19 preventive measures.
He said these include having a handwashing facility at shops, supermarkets and
all the other public places; passenger service vehicles carrying half their
capacities; ensuring closure of bars and enforcing curfew among others. He
said whoever will be found flouting the SOPs will be arrested and charged with
engaging in an act that is likely to spread an infectious disease.
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The City Health Officer, Dr. Asiimwe Solomon, said the partnership has come at
the most crucial period where cases in the country are increasing, which has over
stretched health facilities. He said that so far, they have referred one of their severe cases to Mulago for
further management and at least one patient is being managed from Fort Portal
regional referral hospital.
However, URN has established that even the critical care centers such as
Mulago, where all severe and critical patients from around the country are sent
are filling up. For instance, the COVID-19 treatment at the same national
referral hospital has 280 beds but as of Saturday, 168 beds on three floors of
the unit had severe or critical patients, all in need of oxygen.
Following the increasing number of cases, the health ministry is rushing to
recall health workers that were previously disbanded. According to health
ministry officials, over 1,000 health workers are going to be recalled to help
handle the increasing number of cases. However, with an increasing number of cases, medics say the only way to bring
down the curve is to adhere to all public health measures of wearing masks,
avoiding large gatherings and continuously washing hands.