Lira, Gulu—26, May 2020: Gulu district LC5 chairman Martin Ojara Mapenduzi wants president Museveni to impose a total lockdown on border districts, especially Amuru district.
Mr Mapenduzi was on Tuesday speaking in a telephone interview with our Lira based partner station Radio QFM 94.3 after it emerged that 57 COVID-19 cases was found in Amuru district in just one day.
Mapenduzi who has always emerged as the best performing LC5 chairman many times in the ACODE surveys, was literally furious that some local leaders have not mobilized the community to observe the presidential directives seeking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 disease.
In his recent and the 14th address on COVID -19, president Museveni in his attempt to ease the lockdown said public transport could resume by 4, June 2020, candidates and finalists of tertiary institutions and universities will also resume while private transport resumed today (Tuesday).
But in his reaction, Mr Mapenduzi is dismayed with this presidential directive and expressed fears that opening private transport could spiral the spread of the virus in border districts.
“Our people have become complacent in observing measures against COVID-19. For instance, there are places where people are not observing hand washing and social distancing,” Mr Ojara reveals.
He then shortly added that given a chance to advise the president, he would push for stringent restrictions on border districts.
“If i were to advise the president, I would push for a complete total lockdown in all the border districts because they are a large to the entire country.”
It should be noted that Elegu border post that connects Uganda and South Sudan handles over 300 trucks daily, and several trucks drivers have since tested positive for COVID-19 disease.
Gulu Regional Referral Hospital has initially had a capacity of 10 beds for COVID-19 patients but according Mr Mapenduzi, Ministry of Health has organized more tens beds and the isolation center can now admit up to a hundred patients.
Gulu district boss emphasizes that for a country like Uganda which does not cope up with a massive burst of any pandemic, should opt for preventive measures because the existing Referral Hospitals in the country would be overwhelmed if COVID-19 cases escalate.
Lira Regional Referral Hospital, meanwhile, has reached its limit of 21 patients and according to Dr Stephen Obbo, it will not admit any COVID-19 patients until an expansion is done by the Health Ministry.
This publication has learnt that sex workers have turned trucks that have queued Elegu border into lodges after lodging facilities were closed as part of many measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease, there.
A commercial sex worker has been quoted to have said that some truck drivers have families in Elegu and because of the restriction imposed on them, they can only meet their sexual partners in trucks at night.
According to Michael Lakony, the Amuru district LC5 chairman, some truck drivers meet with sex workers in rented grass-thatched huts while others prefer to use their trucks as lodges, making it hard to enforce Presidential directives.
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