Committee meets on Wednesday to decide reopening of arcades

Tuesday June 30 2020

Inactive. Some of the closed shopping arcades

Inactive. Some of the closed shopping arcades in downtown, Kampala. PHOTO BY DAVID LUBOWA  

By NOBERT ATUKUNDA

Government and other stakeholders will meet on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of reopening two arcades as a pilot study to assess compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Ms Shakira Natozo, the public relations officer at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, said a committee comprised of landlords, tenants, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), ministers of Kampala and Trade, among others will meet to discuss what should be done. She said the resolutions of the meeting will be presented to President Museveni.

“Mutaasa Kafeero and Park View are the two arcades for the pilot study, but they are not open. There is a committee that was put in place to discuss the possibility of reopening them. Whatever they propose on Wednesday [tomorrow] will be submitted to the President,” Ms Natozo said on Monday.

Some of the SOPs that are being looked at before reopening arcades include close off some of the entry and exit points, installing thermal cameras or scanners and works on the aeration.

President Museveni had earlier asked the national Covid-19 Taskforce to order the Ministry of Health, Trade, and KCCA to engage arcade owners to identify potential buildings for the pilot study.

Mr Robert Kalumba, the KCCA deputy public relations office, said there are still some unresolved issues being discussed athough some of the SOPs such as social distancing, availability of washing facilities and wearing masks, among, others will not change.

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Uganda, as of yesterday, had registered 870 Covid-19 cases with 808 recoveries and zero death.

Over the past few days, landlords and traders have asked government to reopen shopping centres, pledging to cope with the SOPs. Some of the landlords have attributed the heavy human traffic in downtown to the closure of arcades.

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