Police in Kampala have announced the scaling up of curfew operations in the wake of the deadly Indian covid-19 strain confirmed in the country.
Last week, government confirmed that Uganda has registered the India Covid-19 variant B.1.617 which is more transmissible and affects mainly a younger age group where cases have been recorded.
However, in a statement released on Saturday afternoon, the Kampala Metropolitan deputy Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire said they have scaled up curfew operations but also targeting people gathered in large numbers.
“We would like to inform the general public that curfew operations have been scaled up and checkpoints reinstated. Those found violating the 9pm curfew will be handled in accordance with the Ministry of Health regulations against the spread of Covid-19,”Owoyesigyire said.
Government has maintained the curfew time between 9pm and 5:30am as one of the ways to control the spread of the virus but also as a security measure.
President Museveni recently said the government will open up the remaining closed economies after vaccinating at least 80 percent of the vulnerable groups.
The president re-echoed the same on Saturday during Labour day celebrations at State House, Entebbe.
“Have you seen what is happening in India? Ugandans, I appeal to you to maintain the status quo until we have immunized a minimum number of people. To be on the safe side, let us immunize a minimum of between 5 – 7million people then we can open up on curfew. A new Covid -19 variant is already here and more dangerous,” Museveni said on Saturday.
Many people, including Members of Parliament have in the past asked government to consider relaxing the Covid-19 guidelines, especially the curfew that many say is no longer of any use since the economy has gradually opened up and many businesses operate at night.
Recently, the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said the curfew is still a necessary evil from both a health and security perspective.
“Covid-19 still has no cure, some countries are imposing new lockdowns either for the whole country, or region. We are taking a guarded action so that as we reopen, we are not taken by surprise,” Opondo said.
“It is necessary to take cautious steps, in a view that people don’t use darkness to violate the Standard Operating Procedures and security. It is critical in easing up and therefore still necessary.”