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Markets in Luwero Relax SOPs Amidst Surge in COVID 19 Cases

Several traders operate with no masks whereas others wear them below the chins while some handwashing facilities operate without soap.
MR Deogratius Bukenya the Chairperson of Luwero Central Market washing his hands as buyer walkout with no mask

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Markets across Luwero town council have relaxed the observance of the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs amidst a surge in COVID 19 cases.  

According to SOPs by the Ministry of Health and Presidential directives, markets can operate but should install handwashing facilities, buyers and traders should wear masks daily as well as observe social distance.   

But traders in Kasana, Kiyenje, and Luwero Central Markets among others in Luwero town have failed to adhere to the guidelines creating fear of the spread of COVID 19.  

Several traders operate with no masks whereas others wear them below the chins while some handwashing facilities operate without soap. 

Deogratius Bukenya the Chairperson of Luwero Central Market Traders Association says that although they have tried to remind traders and their customers to wear masks, many are reluctant.  

Bukenya added that in the first lockdown, they managed to deploy vigilantes to remind their customers to observe the SOPs, which they failed to do this time again over lack of funds to facilitate them.

Bukenya now wants Police and Town Council authorities to join the market task force and enforce the SOPs.

// Cue in: “Twatekamu Task Force…

Cue out;…otulemeddeko”//

Over 2,000 traders are operating in Luwero Central market.  

Daniel Ssemuyaba a butcher in Kasana Market said that sometimes they ask buyers to wear masks before accessing the market but some refuse. He adds that they fear taking any action because they don't want to lose customers.  

Ssemuyaba says that they deal in perishable goods and they can’t risk chasing away the few buyers. 

Khasifah Nalumansi a trader in Kasana market says that failure to adhere to the SOPs has failed management of covid-19.   

Nalumansi said that recently a vigilante blocked a woman from accessing the market without a mask but the issue culminated into a fight as she attempted to force her way inside the market. 

// Cue in: “mask bajja…

Cue out;….katale kaffe”//

Magid Ssemwanja the Chairperson of Kasana Market Traders’ Association promised to convene a special meeting and find ways to enforce the SOPs.

Patrick Maikula the Acting Luwero District Police Commander says that Police has no fuel and manpower to deploy in markets daily to ensure they enforce SOPs. He tasked the Market Task Forces to take action.  

Maikula however promised that if task forces fail, they will need to carry out operations in markets to enforce the SOPs.   

Rose Birungi the Chairperson of Luwero District Task Force says that apart from failure to observe SOPs, she has got reports some traders work past curfew time.   

Birungi says that they have done enough sensitization and the next action will be to arrest all those who breach the SOPS as well as the presidential directives.

Cue in: “I strongly warn…

Cue out;….pay fines”//

Luganda Byte

// Cue in: “Tugezezaako kubanga…

Cue out;…okuwa fine”//   Under the Public Health (COVID 19 Control rules (2021) issued by the Minister of Health, a person who fails to observe the guidelines faces up to two months in jail.

By end of last week, Luwero district had registered over 350 COVID 19 cases and 23 deaths.

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