Tighten COVID-19 safety measures- Namanve operators cautioned

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Kampala Industrial & Business Park COVID-19 task force has cautioned residents and operators in the area to continue observing safety precautions and Standard Operating Procedures in the continued fight against COVID-19.

This comes after a reported increase in COVID-19 cases registered in Mukono District with majority originating from Kampala Industrial and Business Park in Namanve.

The increasing infections within the area have been traced to the factories, business premises, the residential areas and marketplaces frequented by the employees of organizations within the park.

Due to the alarming numbers and the risk posed by business activity in the area, a COVID-19 Taskforce was set up in October that constitutes representatives of the different factories and businesses within the Park and various representatives of the Government offices as a platform for the residents and operators within the Park to implement all measures aimed at controlling and stopping the spread of COVID-19 within their premises and surrounding areas.

According to Simon Kaheru, Communication and Public Affairs Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, and the current chairperson of the Kampala Industrial & Business Park COVID-19 Task Force, the statistics of infection within Mukono District raise serious concerns as more than 200 COVID-19 cases have been registered in Mukono district and, so far, one death has been attributed to the disease.

More worryingly, each case could easily be linked to 25 contacts, meaning that 5,000 people more could be potential cases if certain measures were not followed strictly.

The Task force has passed out a communication stipulating what is expected of all operators in the affected areas:

• Protecting employees and other residents is of utmost importance. People safety should be at the center of all business operations. From employees, their families, visitors to factory premises, and all other residents and operators as well as surrounding community.

• In addition to implementing the COVID-19 SOPs, all factories in the area are strongly encouraged to invest in Occupational Health and Safety at your business premises. The Task Force will readily provide guidance in coming weeks benchmarking against companies and factories that have successfully established Occupational Health and Safety best practices.

• Every factory and business operation within the Kampala Industrial & Business Park is advised to establish a COVID-19 Committee. This Committee will work together with the COVID-19 Task Force and the Government of Uganda to coordinate efforts to fight this disease. The members of the COVID-19 Committees will be the key contact persons on matters to do with COVID-19 within your premises.

• Communication is the number one tool in the fight against COVID-19. You are therefore required to support the sensitization and awareness efforts with authentic COVID-19 prevention messaging within your operations and premises and amongst your employees. The Task Force will periodically share information which you can disseminate to your employees, their families and all persons who encounter your businesses through any means. Knowledge is Power

• Utilize Liberty ICD Testing Centre: All residents and operators are strongly encouraged to make use of the COVID-19 Testing Centre that has been set up by the Ministry of Health at the facility generously provided by Liberty ICD.

“The presence of a testing center within the Kampala Industrial & Business Park provides a major advantage for all residents and operators because it shortens the time suspected cases within the Park can be identified and isolated for treatment – a key step in saving lives and limiting the spread of the infection. Ensuring that your employees and other residents of the Park make use of the Liberty ICD Testing Centre also limits the spread of infection through travel to testing centers in the center of Kampala or further away,” remarked Simon Kaheru, the chairperson of the Kampala Industrial & Business Park COVID-19 Task Force.

“We can not handle a second lockdown, after this recent one that shock our economy to the bone. So as a business community, it’s important that we adhere to these guidelines and minimize the increase of cases in our specific premises. I believe, if we work together, we can beat this setback and grow stronger,” he concluded.

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