Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde on Saturday ordered an immediate closure of all shopping malls as the number of covid-19 victims in the country rose to 23 following an announcment by the Ministry of Health on Friday night.
More seven cases were registered on Saturday night bringing the total number of Covid-19 confirmed cases to 30. This was from samples taken from 225 people on Saturday where 218 turned out negative.
“I had wanted that our people continue working but the rate of the spread of the disease is worrying. Life is more precious than anything else. So all shopping malls should be closed with immediate effect,” Ms Kyambadde said in an announcement of radio.
By press time, Sunday Monitor could not get the minister for a more substantive interview as she said she was attending a meeting.
Ms Kyambadde’s new stance comes only two days after she had clarified that President Museveni had not directed to have shopping malls closed.
“We need to stay home. Let us stay away from arcades. We will look at other issues when life returns to normal,” the minister said.
Mr Manisuuli Matovu, alias Yanga, one of the owners of arcades in the city, described the current situation as one of a matter of life and death.
“Some of us left the city long ago. You cannot wait for anyone to give you a directive. I am already in my home village. Those who are adamant, by the time we come back, God willing, will be deceased,” he said.
He advised people to spend their saving sparingly as he warned of hard times ahead
Asked whether after life returns to normal, he would waive rent fees from his tenants, he replied: “I no longer own arcades in the city.”