The Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba has announced that Government is working around the clock to ensure sectors such as bodabodas, arcades and places of worship among others are reopened.
“I want to inform the public that Government is working hard to ensure key sectors such as bodabodas, arcades, salons and places of worship are reopened,” Nabakooba told reporters in Kampala on Sunday.
Various sectors of the economy including the above mentioned were shut about 4 months ago in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boda boda operators, arcade owners and religious leaders have been calling on Government to allow them to resume operations.
Nabakooba said Government has been consulting leaders from these sectors to ensure proper safety measures are in place when operations resume.
“Very soon, communication will be made based on the agreed-upon measures. I, therefore, want to call upon everyone to remain calm and peaceful as we await the resumption of operations. Let us avoid being used by selfish individuals calling for demonstrations and other acts that are illegal and may lead to loss of life,” she said.
Face mask distribution
On the issue of distribution of face masks, Nabakooba alerted members of the public to be vigilant of the local leaders who may attempt to sell Government masks to people yet they should be free of charge.
“There have been unfortunate cases of local leaders being involved in the sale of these face masks to the public. Government would like to remind everyone that Government face masks are free and every Ugandan of 6 years and above is entitled to a face mask.”
About a month ago, Government embarked on the process of procuring locally made face masks and so far over 6 million masks have been distributed in 22 districts including Arua, Amuru, Adjumani, Moyo, Kyotera, Masaka, Soroti, Busia, Tororo, Mbarara, Ntungamo among others.
All local leaders responsible for distributing the masks, Nabakooba said, have been facilitated for the process and therefore are expected to do their work without charging any fee.
“We encourage members of the public to be vigilant and report any cases of local leaders asking for money in return,” she said.
Return of Ugandans stranded abroad
Concerning the return of Ugandans stranded abroad due to COVID-19 lockdown, Nabakooba said the process of repatriating Ugandans will resume soon.
Recently, Government temporarily halted further repatriation of returnees in a bid to decongest quarantine centers.
“The process of returning Ugandans was only put on hold for a few weeks to allow the decongestion of quarantine centers. Very soon, flights will resume returning all the remaining Ugandans,” she said.