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We shall close markets if you undermine guidelines, minister warns

By Simon Peter Tumwine

Added 31st March 2020 07:40 AM

"We want you to stand four meters away from each other, on sides, in front and behind. Even a customer coming to buy items should stand four meters away from you,”

We shall close markets if you undermine guidelines, minister warns

Kampala State Minister, Namugwanya (Photo by Simon Peter Tumwine)

"We want you to stand four meters away from each other, on sides, in front and behind. Even a customer coming to buy items should stand four meters away from you,”

Markets have been warned against failure to follow the guidelines. The Kampala State Minister, Benna Namugwanya, on Monday, said the market vendors should follow guidelines issued by the health ministry to prevent COVID-19 to the dot.

"I'm happy that you have adhered to some of the guidelines like that of putting in place body temperature measuring thermometers, water and soap for washing hands. But what you are yet to do, is distancing yourselves to avoid congestion."

Namugwanya remarked while leading a delegation of technical and political leaders of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) who visited four markets around the city to ascertain compliance. The markets are Kibuye, Busega, Kalerwe and Kasubi.

"All those things we have temporarily suspended, such as going to church, school, public transport, is because we do not want congestion.

We want you to stand four meters away from each other, on sides, in front and behind. Even a customer coming to buy items should stand four meters away from you," she said.

She added every market should have entry and an exit point to ensure that whoever is accessing the market washes his or her hands and temperature is measured.

"While the second one will be for letting out the people. If you have several entrances where people can access the market without being checked, please have them closed," she added.

She directed the market leaders to immediately effect social distancing by making the necessary demarcations of each and every stall in the market.

The minister advised that if the market is not enough to accommodate all the vendors at once, they should work in shifts.

The market management committees were also directed to regulate the number of vendors who come into the market at a time.

"Do not allow many vendors to come in at once to avoid congestion. If you see the number you have in the market is big enough, keep others outside for some time until the number reduces inside the market," she said. 

"Also be careful with money, the virus can also spread through the money and experts in their research have indicated when it gets onto the money, it can live for five days. 

Therefore, whenever you touch money, wash your hands because what we need most, is your life," Namugwanya added. 

If they fail on social distancing, the minister warned; "we shall have no option but to close down the markets. We appeal to you not to force us to get to that level," she said.

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