The COVID-19 Taskforce in Kisoro District has closed three markets over non-compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Gatimba market, Old market and Rusiza market all in Kisoro municipality were closed on Monday evening after a meeting chaired by Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner who also chairs the District COVID-19 Task Force.
According to Cpt. Mugisha, the District COVID-19 Taskforce moved to the affected markets after the meeting and asked food vendors to stay away because of their failure to observe the SOPs amidst the escalation of COVID-19 infections. President Museveni, while announcing the ongoing 42 days’ lockdown, allowed food markets to continue operating, but must adhere to the Standard Operating procedures of wearing masks and social distancing.
However, the RDC says that there was congestion in the three markets, which couldn’t allow for the recommended physical distance to avoid infection. Adding that most of the vendors have also not been wearing face masks and sanitizing their hands because they were no handwashing facilities.
Mugisha says the markets will remain closed until they sort themselves with the municipal authorities on the enforcement of the SOPs, adding that whoever attempts to return to the market without authorization will be arrested.
According to Nick Muneza the Kisoro District Assistant Health Officer, the decision to close the markets was the best because they have registered 362 positive COVID-19 cases since the start of this month.
35 of the 362 cases are at Kisoro and Mutorere Hospitals while 327 are under home care management. He said 11 out of the 35 cases in the hospital are on life support. They have also registered eight deaths related to COVID-19.