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    Weekly Markets Cleared for Operation

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    Weekly markets in the previously hotspot areas of Uganda that had been ordered to remain closed due to the concentration of the coronavirus can now re-open, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng announced on Thursday.
    In September (three months ago), President Yoweri Museveni lifted a ban on weekly markets, save for those in the hotspot districts, which at the time registered high numbers of COVID-19 infections.
    The districts included Kampala, Soroti, Kalungu, Kabale, Kumi, Tororo, Nwoya, Gulu and Yumbe.
    In reopening various sectors of the economy, President Museveni has acted on the advice of the scientists, as Uganda continues on the trajectory of resumption of full-throttle economic activity.
    In her address at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday, Aceng announced that the said locations ‘are no longer hotspot areas’ following surveillance on vaccine uptake and established COVID-19 measures.
    They can resume operations but with strict adherance to standard operating procedures and the curfew guidelines.
    The health minister was speaking at a time when the world is trying to deal with a new COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.529), which the World Health Organization (WHO) named Omicron and labelled it a ‘variant of concern’.
    Researchers say Omicron, first identified by scientists in South Africa, has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes.
    Already, it has found its way in a number of countries, from southern Africa to the US and South Korea, among others.
    For now, it has not been detected in Uganda.

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