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MPs push for opening of arcades as ‘a preventive measure for COVID-19’


Uganda’s parliament

Kampala, Uganda | PROSSY NANSUBUGA | Members of Parliament have urged government to open arcades ‘as a preventive measure for COVID-19’ following a petition by KASITA traders. The Kampala traders warned that many of their members are now doing business on the streets, which exposes more people to danger.

According to Member of Parliament for Kasese, Centenary Franco Robert, it’s easier to manage vendors while they are in arcades than on streets. An influx of social networking is currently thriving on streets like Kikubo iin Kampala, contrary to the President’s directive in the fight of Coronavirus.

“We can easily control people while they are in arcades. We can enforce guidelines like sanitizing, hand washing and checking their temperature which is faulty on streets where they squeeze one another,” he said during Thursday’s plenary.

Centenary argued that Uganda will likely see a decline in Coronavirus infections with arcades open than when they are closed.

Additionally, Kawempe North MP Abdulatif Ssebagala also added that the government needed to do something about Owino market which is crowded, thus aiding the spread of COVID-19.

The Speaker asked he Minister of Kampala  Amongi Betty to task the COVID-19 taskforce of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to assess the situation around arcades and return with answers to Parliament on Wednesday of next week.

Reports from strolls around Kampala have indicated that vendors around Nakasero market for instance have shunned face masks which are the most protective gear against the pandemic.

Uganda’s confirmed COVID-19 cases stand at 893, with no related deaths yet.

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