Rukungiri COVID-19 Task force Closes Two Trading Center for Flouting SOPs

Written by on June 30, 2021

Rukungiri District COVID-19 task force in collaboration with the Health Department has locked down two trading centers in Buhunga sub- County for alleged failure to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs. The affected are Karisizo and Omukidandari trading centers.

Nsubuga Bewayo, the Rukungiri Resident District Commissioner, who chairs the District COVID-19 Taskforce, says that the sub-county COVID-19 Taskforce resolved to temporarily close the trading centers for two weeks accusing the operators for failure to SOPs, which has led to a surge in COVID-19 cases in both trading centers.

“We held a meeting with the sub-county task force and we agreed to close the two trading centers for 2 weeks. People there were not respecting SOPs that were put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Bewayo said. Adding that, “they were also forced to take the decision after learning that some COVID-19 patients placed under home care based in both trading centers have continued moving around and spread the disease intentionally.”

Jane Tumuheirqe, a trader in Omukidandari trading center, says that two-week lockdown will cost them since some of them sell perishables. “It is a wrong decision they shouldn’t have closed down because we are going to incur losses. Some of us had loans and the only source of money to service the loan was business,” Tumuheirqe said.

Stephen Kosiya, another trader in the same trading center, said that he had just restocked his shop using a loan from the bank when they were locked down.  “So am asking myself where will I get money to pay back, yet I deal with perishables,” Kosiya decried.

But Hajji Hamid Kabwende, the chairperson of the Karisizo trading center, says the closure of the trading center was the right decision intended at saving the lives of many from COVID-19. “Even though some traders complain about making losses and others having bank loans, they should be patient and bear with the authorities fighting this pandemic,” he said.

Rukungiri district has so far registered 374 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths and 15 recoveries.

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