IGP Ochola Summons Directors, Commanders Over Coronavirus Crisis

|A day after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni issued 14 directives on preventing coronavirus (COVID-19), the Inspector General of Police – IGP Martin Ochola, has summoned directors and commanders to deliberate on the strategy for implementation.

Museveni on Wednesday issued guidelines to cub the pandemic caused by the coronavirus which has so far infected 200000 leading to 8900 fatalities. Uganda’s neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania have already confirmed coronavirus cases.

The head of state’s coronavirus guidelines includes temporary closure of education institutions, suspension of all religious, political, wedding and cultural gatherings. Other restrictions include’ banning discos, bars, music shows and concerts.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirmed on Thursday that Ochola had summoned a spontaneous Policy Advisory Committee -PAC sitting to deliberate on how the president’s guidelines shall be implemented and complied to without fail.

Although Uganda has not yet registered any coronavirus case, Museveni said he had decided to close the Educational Institutions because he had observed the situation in other countries. The President said once the epidemic breaks out, there is so much stampede that the first suspect to be affected is transport.

“You have seen how Airports were clogged with people. That crowding is perfect ground for new infections. Let us therefore move early to avoid stampedes,” said  Museveni.

The President added that once the concentrations in the Educational Institutions is dealt with, the next concentrations that must be deal with are the religious gatherings for instance prayers in Churches, in Mosques, open air prayers and services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

he government said in the interests of people’s health, worship gatherings should be suspended for a month with immediate effect. Museveni said religious leaders can use the TVs, Radios stations to continue preaching. This he said citing His Holiness, Pope Francis, who has set an example of enlightenment by abandoning his customary preaching in St. Peters’ Square and is instead, using the TV.

“When it comes to health, it is better to be a coward and be on the side of caution.  If there is no danger after one month, that will be good. If there was danger, we would have avoided it. The Prayers will continue but in homes,” Museveni said.

Enanga said police will go full blast once schools have completely closed. Schools are officially closing by tomorrow at mid-day as per government directive. Afterwards, police will go bare knuckles with those who will attempt to defy the president’s directives for instance disco and bar operators.

Ochola has already instructed commanders to take note of the instructions and ensure full compliance.u.r.n

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