Security have warned the public against violating the coronavirus guidelines that were instituted to control the spread of Covid-19. Such guidelines include, among others, a nighttime curfew which starts at 9 pm and runs until 5:30 am every day.
But ever since the curfew was imposed, it’s not enforced in most parts of the country with movement of people not restricted even during curfew time. Bars are also operating freely, even though, according to presidential guidelines, such businesses are super-spreaders of the Covid-19 virus and officially are still closed. In view of the developments, the joint security agencies comprising the Uganda Police, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Uganda Prisons Services have cautioned that they are intensifying night operations in the enforcement of curfew. This, they say, is to ensure that Uganda is able to control the spread of the new Covid-19 variant, that was detected in the country.
According to the ministry of Health, a more deadly variant – akin to the one devastating India was recently detected in Uganda, causing anxiety on the country’s ability to manage it, given the level of laxity in enforcement of recommended control measures.
“We want to inform the public that due to the emergence of a dangerous and more transmissible strain of Covid-19, the joint security agencies, have heightened enforcement of the Covid-19 measures, including the night curfews,” reads the statement issued Sunday.
Fred Enanga the police spokesperson said they have intensified inspections, checks and raids to counter all violations and defaulters of the curfew and other standards operating procedures. He says that the joint security agencies have asked all commanders to heighten enforcement operations during curfew time, as well as all the other Covid-19 protocols.
Enanga adds that all non-essential movements during the curfew time will be restricted as a measure to reduce reckless and risky interactions at night.
“Our areas of interest include bars operating illegally, places of entertainment, and gatherings of more than 200 people except under very exceptional circumstances by the ministry of Health. We also target motorists, who are not observing the load capacities,” Enanga said.
He added that all persons found breaching the SOPs and the curfew guidelines will be subjected to fines, penalties and or court action, motorcycles and motor vehicles will be impounded.
The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed nearly 3.3 million lives around the world, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The USA has suffered the most deaths, with more than 581,000, followed by Brazil with more than 421,000 deaths, and India, with more than 238,200 deaths.
According to test results conducted on May 8, Uganda confirmed 29 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative confirmed cases to 42,384. At least 399,746 people have been vaccinated against the virus as of May 8.