Ugandan security struggles to enforce presidential directives on face masks

presidential directives on face masks
A woman wears a protective face mask during a protest against racism and police brutality in Lausanne, USA.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Life has nearly returned to normal with a bee-hive of activities taking place in markets, bus parks, food and non-food shops in Gulu municipality after the partial lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown. However, many of the residents have disregarded a requirement to wear face masks while in public spaces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health are encouraging the use of masks in communities, during home care and in health care settings in order to contain the spread of the disease which has so far affected more than seven million people across the globe.

According to health experts, face masks could provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets by  reducing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions.

Combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, face masks are thought to be helpful in slowing the spread of coronavirus disease.

But Walter Akena, a resident of Gulu argues that the presidential directive on wearing masks was hurriedly pronounced without proper public sensitization.

Bony Ocen, a resident of Gulu Municipality observed that security personnel are equally facing an uphill task enforcing compulsory mask-wearing in public because of the rigid nature of many Ugandans in abiding by the law.

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Meanwhile, The District Police Commander Emmanuel Mafundo acknowledged difficulties in enforcing a requirement for wearing masks because the required government masks have not yet been supplied to the citizens.

Dr Jackson Amone, the Commissioner of Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health says there is need to continue to sensitize the masses about the importance of face masks.