Government has said 58 arcades including Sena Arcade, SB Plaza, and King Fahad will be closed down in the next seven days over failure to adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kampala.
Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi told journalists on Friday that at least 58 arcades in the city will be closed down in the next seven days ads government moves to reinstate lockdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Kampala Metropolitan Area has become a hotspot for the pandemic, registering 15 deaths out of the 19 in the country.
“We have noticed that the arcades that we opened are now violating SOPs, as a result, 58 arcades will be closed for failure to adhere to sops in the light of COVID pandemic. We have given them seven days to comply or risk closure,” Amongi said.
Amongi said arcade owners have been made aware and asked to help turn around to compliance.
Among arcades that will be closed include; Mini Price, Vienna Business Centre, Naiga Chambers, Masaka Jubilee, Afro Complex, Sena Arcade, SB Plaza, and King Fahad.
Others are Sun City, Lucky Complex, Nabukeera, Quallicell, Zainab Aziza, Majestic, Namaganda, Energy Centre and Nasser road printers.
She also gave members of the public a seven days’ ultimatum to be compliant or else a recommendation will be sent to the president proposing a lockdown.
“If we do not obtain cooperation from the public, we shall make recommendations to the president on what is the way forward. Kampala is the sitting room for Uganda, if we see that the sitting room is going to endanger the bedrooms, we shall ask that the sitting room be closed to safeguard the bedrooms. It is up to us to avoid the lockdown,” she said.
Amongi said that a number of recommendations have already been made to “localize the city’
“People are asking us to come up with a proposal to localize Kampala. We want your cooperation, in the next seven days, let us be able to turn around some complaint measures to avoid another lockdown,” she urged.
The minister affirmed that COVID is real and several cases are coming up.
“COVID is there, there are so many asymptomatic cases. The majority don’t show signs until we test them,” she said.
She cautioned private hospitals to take COVID seriously as well as patients who visit the hospitals.
“Private hospitals, many are not taking COVID as a priority and we are registering deaths and while someone is being buried, we discover they had COVID. This is because these patients visit the hospitals normally and when there they are received as normal patients, only to end up infecting medical personnel and other patients. We need to be vigilant,” she said.
President Museveni will speak to the nation next week, regarding the next course of action.
His speech will come after a series of meetings on Monday in which scientists and ministers will recommend a number of actions.
The minister of works, Gen Katumba Wamala already sounded a warning to the transport section, cautioning that if ‘things do not change, public transport will be stopped again.”