Over 50 arrested for Not Wearing Masks, Flouting anti-COVID SOPs


Kabale | RedPepper Digital – Police has, on Tuesday, arrested over 50 people in Kabale Municipality for flouting presidential guidelines against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elly Maate, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson, confirmed that the suspects were arrested by a team of Field force police unit, from different areas in the Municipality like in Kigongi ward, along Kabale–Mbarara highway, Kabale roundabout, Mwanjari market, around Esso and other different areas within the town.

Maate says that the majority of them were arrested after they were found in public without wearing face masks which is against the presidential directives that are intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We have arrested over 50 and they are detained at Kabale Central Police Station. We are trying to make sure that the guidelines are enforced and people know that it is a crime not to put on a mask. We have them detained and they will be charged with doing a negligent act likely to cause the spread of disease,” Maate noted.

Maate added that they have intensified operations after finding out that Kabale district was shortlisted by Ministry of Health, among the 10 alert districts that are likely to register a new wave of Covid-19.

In July this year the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng signed a statutory instrument dubbed Public Health (Control of COVID-19) rules 2021, said that if one is found guilty of not wearing a facial mask while in public places, he or she will face a jail term of two months.

“Every person shall, at all time, while outside his or her place of residence, wear a facial mask,” the instrument issued.

The instrument also said that any COVID-19 positive individual who escapes from a designated isolation unit faces imprisonment for two months on conviction.

“Any person who aids a person who is confined in a place designated for isolation or quarantine for COVID-19, in escaping or attempting to escape from the place commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for two months,” the rules added.

Individuals who convene public gatherings, hold weddings, open closed facilities such as bars and disco halls, break the 1900-hour curfew or breaks the transport ban also gets two months in jail on conviction.

The instrument, however, allows meetings of the Cabinet, Parliament, and local governments and judicial proceedings.

“For the enforcement of these rules, the police and the local authorities may enter any place or premises and may inspect any motor vehicle or engineering plant,” the document said.

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