December 21, 2020, THE Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) COVID-19 Task Force has issued an advisory for factories and businesses to stop the use of registration books at their premises as this exposes more people to contracting COVID-19.
The advisory accompanies a Ministry of Health Public Notice prohibiting Ugandans from signing condolence books at funeral services.
The KIBP COVID-19 Task Force Chairperson, Simon Kaheru, of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, strongly urged the factories and businesses within the Namanve Industrial Area to immediately stop using processes that rely on registration books.
“You are all strongly advised to immediately halt the use of Registration and Visitors Books at your premises. This should apply to those at points of entry where persons accessing your premises are required to enter their details, as well as books where courtesy comments are
recorded,” he cautioned.
“In addition, kindly assess all your office, business and factory procedures to decrease instances where employees and visitors contact surfaces. These include biometric machines, door handles, window latches and handrails. Where possible, disable them so that there are fewer risks of infections spreading. Ensure that all surfaces of this nature are frequently disinfected,” he added.
Kaheru emphasized that COVID-19 is not only a threat to life but also the economy.
The Director General of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, warned that scientists had found considerable evidence that the Corona virus lasts on surfaces such as paper for up to five (5) days.
“Going by the current virus infection trend, a surge in cases is foreseen come next year – and ten percent (10%) of the cases might turn out to be severe or critical cases, which means that early next year we could easily have 5,000 patients requiring intensive care,” Dr. Mwebesa said.
“I’m afraid that will be a dangerous escalation over which only God will help us because the truth is, we don’t have that ICU beds capacity,” Mwebesa said.
Uganda currently has 28,733 corona virus cases, with 10,070 recoveries and 225 deaths. World over, the numbers continue to surge.
World Health Organization (WHO) studies suggest that the Corona virus could last on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days depending on the different conditions such as the type of surface or humidity in the environment.
In Namanve, factory operators and businesses are expected to continue implementing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as per the Ministry of Health Guidelines. Business operators were cautioned to focus their efforts on running their business operations in a way that protects the employees, families, visitors to the business premises and all other residents and operators in the area and surrounding community.
“In addition to implementing the COVID-19 SOPs, you are all strongly encouraged to invest in Occupational Health and Safety at your business premises. The Task Force will readily provide guidance in the coming weeks benchmarking against companies and factories that have successfully implemented these practices,” Kaheru said.