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Re-opening of bars comes with increase in COVID-19 cases, Police says


By Agnes Kiconco

KIU, Main Campus - After over 20 months of closure, bars, entertainment centers were on Monday, January 24, 2022, re-opened, as per President Museveni's speech on New Year's Eve.

As the night economy is back in action and ready to rebuild itself, Police worry that the re-opening of the night economy has led to high demand for nightclubs, bars, concerts, and saunas that attract large crowds. On that note, Police have urged Ugandans to adhere to the health and safety protocols required to reduce the spread of the virus. This is simply because mask-wearing and social distancing requirements are very lax in nightclubs, bars, and discos.

While addressing the press, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said the re-opening comes with an increase in the number of new cases, hence there is a need to re-open in the safest possible ways.

"These include ventilation systems in all venues, sanitation stations, throughout all clubs, increased frequency of cleaning schedules, and the deployment of highly trained staff, who are well versed in crowd management controls," Enanga said.

He also noted that with the extension of the bodaboda movement from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, it is important for the public to avoid any inconveniences and disruptions.

"The public, riders, and passengers of bodabodas and motorcycles are reminded to observe the new curfew provisions. Otherwise, the bodaboda enforcement operations are still on." "All revelers must be keen and take into consideration their travel arrangements when moving at night. This is because the movement of bodabodas is still restricted from 5:30 am to 7:00 pm," he stressed.

Away from the challenges of COVID-19, Enanga reminded all the re-opened sectors about the threat of terrorism, posed by individual actors and small groups inspired primarily by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

"Some of these hangout places are soft targets," revealed Enanga, adding that although security forces have greatly disrupted some of the real threats posed by the terrorists, the ADF remain determined on causing harm to Ugandans and other citizens in the country, which calls for extra vigilance as they go about their daily activities.