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City traders start mass Covid-19 testing

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala City traders under the Kampala Arcades Advocacy forum have partnered with Mild May testing laboratory to carry out massive COVID-19 screening at a subsidized cost.

This is meant to control the spread of COVID-19 among the business community.

Suleiman Mpagi, the forum’s organizing secretary says that as leaders, they have been looking for measures to prevent the outbreak of the COVID-19 third wave. According to Mpagi, since some traders can’t afford testing for COVID-19 at a higher price, traders will pay 25,000 Shillings for testing.

Mpagi says that the testing centres will be opened in the new and old Taxi Parks and Mukwano Arcade Parking space.

Mpagi says that they are still in discussions with Mildmay about how the screening will be conducted and when it will start.

Doctor Emmanuel Omony the laboratory manager at Mildmay says that they will prioritize testing of the traders because the traders are the most hit when the government institutes a lockdown.  He adds that apart from screening, the vendors will also be sensitized about the COVID-19 SOPs.

Omony also says that most places in the city are congested yet there is limited access to COVID-19 testing services which explains why the virus spreads very fast in the city.

Traders in the arcades in Kampala have often been criticized for not adhering to the COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedures.

At the beginning of this month, the government has started inspecting arcades in Kampala Capital City to ensure that they adhere to the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs.

Following the easing of the lockdown by the President last month, the arcades are required to have separate entrances and exits, CCTV Cameras to monitor the arcades, have washing facilities at all entrances, a committee to enforce hand washing and wearing masks and temperature guns. They are also required to have isolation rooms where COVID-19 suspects can be managed.

Vendors operating on the verandas, corridors and in makeshift structures around the arcades were also banned.

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