Government will soon begin enforcing wearing of face masks across the country as one of the measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, according to the Minister of ICT and national guidance Judith Nabakooba.
The disease which has infected more than 18 million people globally spreads through sneezing, coughing, talking and breathing. When an infected person wears a face mask, it blocks the virus from spreading through sneezing, coughing, talking and breathing. It also prevents droplets from an infected person from reaching the nose and mouth of a person wearing it.
When the disease brokeout, government directed that all people should wear face masks every time they come in the public. In one of his addresses on COVID-19, President Yoweri Museveni promised that government was to provide free masks to all Ugandans of 6 years of age and above.
The distribution of masks has since kicked off starting with border districts and according to Nabakooba, 8 million masks have so far been given to people. She revealed that on Saturday, the Ministry of Health started distribution of masks in the Kampala Metropolitan area.
“Yesterday (Saturday), the Ministry of Health started to distribute masks in the districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono. I want to remind all residents in Kampala to be vigilant and ensure that you all get the free masks being distributed by your local leaders,” said Minister Nabakooba.
“Very soon, government will start enforcing the wearing of masks and there will be no excuses for not having one. So far about 8 million Masks have been distributed country wide,” she added.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of Ugandans currently stand at 1,176, the recoveries are 1,045 and 4 COVID-19 deaths.
The Ministry of Health has previously said that community infections have also started to increase in areas such as Kampala, Kyotera and Amuru districts, something that is worrying government since many Ugandans are flouting the established measures.
“It is unfortunate that despite the deaths and rising community infections, many people are still failing to go by the preventive measures provided by Ministry of Health,” says the Minister.
“Government is specifically concerned about the situation in Kampala. All key markets and shops in down town Kampala are no longer following the recommended measures,” she adds.
Nabakooba further appealed to all market leaders all over the country to enforce the wearing of masks, washing of hands with soap for everyone including social distancing as well as reminding all arcades operators to always go by the operating guidelines that they agreed upon.
She said they should ensure that all customers register when buying products, keep social distancing and temperature guns at the entrance.