Another UPDF personnel attached to the UPDF 4th Division lamented they have been arresting and sometimes beating suspects defying lawful orders without any protective equipment exposing them and their families to risk.
Lack of Personal Protective Equipment is worrying security
personnel enforcing public guidelines against COVID-19 in Gulu.
Hundreds of armed police officers backed by Local Defense Units
(LDU) personnel and Uganda People’s Defense Force – UPDF are enforcing the
14-days curfew to combat the pandemic as declared by President Yoweri Museveni.
However, the security personnel are visibly engaging in running battles with
civilians on the streets to close shops and arresting errant citizens flouting
curfew rules without basic protective gear such as face masks and gloves to
safeguard against the contagion.
One police officer attached to Field Force Unit (FFU) who preferred anonymity
wonders why the Government is not equipping them with protective gears despite
passing a supplementary budget.
Another UPDF personnel attached to the UPDF 4th Division lamented they have
been arresting and sometimes beating suspects defying lawful orders without any
protective equipment exposing them and their families to risk.
Charles Okumu, a resident of Pece Division in Gulu Municipality
expressed disappointment at Government for using security personnel like they
are immune to the deadly virus.
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Eric Odong, another concerned resident of Layibi Division observed that the
level at which security personnel are exposed is worrying and can instead lead
to the rapid spread of the deadly plague if breaks out.
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Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson
admits that lack of personal protective gear is a big concern to them and a
national crisis being handled by Government through the Ministry of Health.
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Last week, some police personnel in Zombo District were directed
to be under self and institutional quarantine after they were exposed to a
suspected case of Coronavirus while effecting arrests.
On Tuesday last week, Government passed budget allocation of 80
billion Shillings to aid the operations of the country’s security sector in the
fight against the Coronavirus but as to when the funds will be expended to
purchase the items remains a question for another day.
Uganda’s confirmed cases have risen to 52 as of Sunday after four new cases
were registered from 300 samples tested at the Uganda Virus Research Institute
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.