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Gulu Main Market Vendors Worried over Ignored COVID-19 SOPs Observation

When our reporter visited the market, there was no single temperature gun at any of the three entrances to the market, very few people were washing hands at the hand washing point and even fewer were wearing face masks inside the market.
People passing by the hand washing point at one of the entrances to main market. Photo by Michael Ojok.

Audio 2



Vendors at the Gulu main market are concerned by the relaxed observation of the standard operating procedures for curbing the spread of COVID-19 disease.

When our reporter visited the market, there were no temperature guns at the three entrances to the market, very few people were washing hands at the hand washing point and even fewer were wearing face masks inside the market.

Richard Rubangakene, who operates a computer center at the market says the situation is even worse especially with the Christmas festivities fast approaching with many people from different parts of the country and even from East African Countries coming to the market, which might increase the risk of spreading the disease.

According to Rubangakene, most people from within the market, including the vendors seem tired of adhering to the SOPs which is leading to a time bomb because if anyone from the market gets infected, the contagion will spread.

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Concy Apio, a resident of Layibi in Gulu West Division, is wondering why the task force at the market is no longer emphasizing the washing of hands, not using the temperature guns but also the reluctance of people wearing their masks inside the market.

Denis Ocira, says they have complained to the market authorities to work on the issue of observation of the SOPs but most importantly hand washing and temperature gun use at the gates in vain, saying even the task force who were doing it in some cases are not present at the market entrances.

Francis Megolonyo, the Gulu Main market master,  says they are now emphasizing personal health concerns, saying most people tend not to listen to their pleas of observing the SOPs.

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According to Megolonyo, the temperature guns have been withdrawn and taken for repair. He however says water points have been maintained and everyone who enters the market is being tasked to wash their hands but also wear face masks inside the market which most people are adhering to.

Last week, Uganda registered over 1,000 COVID-19 cases in one day, raising more alarm on the public behavior as far as the prevention of the contagion is concerned. Uganda Currently has 27,532 cases of COVID-19.