ZOMBO. As the country continues to register more COVID-19 cases, residents of Zombo have expressed worry as the district health team and police take steps to enforce lockdown and self-quarantine for suspected cases in the district.

In the meantime, authorities have among others locked down bars, betting centres and at least two open markets in Zeu and Abanga sub counties respectively.

The move is in fulfilment of the presidential directive to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Tension went higher after the district health officer on Wednesday revealed that two of the six Chinese intercepted at Padea custom in Zombo last Friday tested positive of COVID-19.

The Chinese had spent a night at Max Royal Hotel in Paidha town before they were intercepted on Friday morning as they attempted to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Under the watchful eyes of the security personnel, the 6 Chinese and two Ugandans in their company were quarantined at Daudi Courts in Paidha town where they are said to have also interacted with a number of people within the hotel.

The district health team is also monitoring a resident of Jupandika East cell in Paidha town council who flew into the country from Dubai aboard the Ethiopian Airline but never went into self-quarantine until members of the community reported his presence to the authorities.

Dr Mark Bramali, the district health officer Zombo on Wednesday directed all those who were at close range with the Chinese while at Padea custom, Max Royal Hotel, Daudi courts and the car washing bay to register so that samples are taken from them for screening at the Uganda Virus Institute, Entebbe.

"We want our people to cooperate with us by getting registered so that they know their status for better management", he said.

He said COVID-19 is real and urged the people to be more vigilant and adhere to the presidential directives to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Abubaker Musiho, the district police commander Zombo said deployment has been done to ensure the presidential directives are followed and specifically warned bar operators and others whom he accused of defying the guidelines.

A police officerA police officer looks on as the Chinese nationals board their vehicle.

"We have done deployment and we are going to ensure that people are complying with the directives of the president and other local measures", he said.

Similarly, Musiho implored the people not to fear reporting suspected cases as well as avoiding behaviours that expose them the virus.

Mr John Kadogo, a butcher said they are making loses as most people are afraid of even coming to the market and more so getting in touch with something like meat.

He said the meat they sell over stays these days because the people have become unpredictable and spending sparingly as they watch the trend of events.

"We are going out of business because we no longer sell as we used to and it takes almost three to four days to finish selling what we used to sell in one to two days", he said.

Ms Mary Angei, a food vendor said they are similarly making loses because people are afraid of anything in the street and open markets.

She said the situation has forced her to reduce the quantity of food she sells per day after she made huge loses last week.

"People are living in fear including me because no one is safe and I also fearing giving food to my customers at close range", she said.

Angei said she was bothered by the increase in price of salt at the beginning of the pandemic as the future remains uncertain.

There are at least 14 COVID-19 cases registered by the ministry of health since first case was registered about a week ago.