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Public Reluctant to Wear Masks Citing Inconveniences

The trend comes amidst calls from health experts urging the public to keep overserving Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) including wearing of masks amid fears of a second wave of Coronavirus infections.

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Wearing masks as one of the key practices under the new normal in the control of Covid-19 pandemic is increasingly declining among members of the public, URN has learnt.

The trend comes amid calls from health experts urging the public to keep overserving Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) including wearing of masks amid fears of a second wave of corana virus infections.

A mini survey by our reporters in Kampala found that about 6 in every 10 people were not wearing masks or wore them below the chin despite being in a public place or group of more than 4 persons.

Some disclosed that they keep masks in their pockets or inside their bag in case they must use them or if required by an enforcement organ such as police. 

About 4 in every 10 persons were wearing masks. 

Our reporter spoke to the business people, passengers, shoppers in New taxi park, Namayiba bus park, big super markets around Nakasero, Wandegeya and Ntinda.

Speaking in an interview, Joseph Sekaja a resident of Ntinda who is also a supermarket attendant said it is often difficult to wear a mask all time while at work adding that its inconvenient.

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He says that some clients do enter without masks much as the super market is strict with hand sanitizing, that is emphasized by the security personnel at the entrance.

Dickson Loti, a supermarket attendant in Nakasero also agrees that a mask causes breathing difficulties and other inconvenience to him whenever he wears it. He says he only puts on a mask in public places where its mandatory for people to have masks on. He adds that there are a lot of people who just carry masks for formality but never wear them even when in public.

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A number of people also admitted that they only wear masks when they go to Church or public office. Maximino Aita said he never wears a mask unless he is going to enter a church, bank, or an office.

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Richard Tibahimbasa, taxi driver plying the Jinja – Kampala route confirms that passengers aboard taxis and buses only keep their masks for entering the buses and at police check points. After checkpoint, the passengers put them off and stow them in their bags.

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In Uganda, not wearing a mask attracts a penalty of 20,000 shillings or 1 currency point according to the executive orders issued in 2020. President Museveni and Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng have always encouraged the public to wear masks although the country is administering corona vaccines.

Currently, the country is administering Covid-19 vaccine beginning with frontline workers and vulnerable persons, mainly the elderly.

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