In a protracted fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic Uganda has stopped the importation of used –second-hand clothes and footwear.

According to a public notice from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, signed by the Executive Director, Dr. Ben Mayindo,  as a precautionary measure, the importation of and clearance of used textile products and used footwear has been suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

Dr. Mayindo stated that  UNBS has an obligation to protect public  health and safety to ensure that consumers get quality products that much value for their money . “ The bureau also has the mandate to promote fair  trade. This is achieved through formulation , implementation and enforcement of standards for both locally manufactured and imported products for the Ugandan market,” the statement reads in part.

The suspension slapped against importation  of secondhand textiles has  caught many importers and dealers in such commodities  by surprise as the country continues to experience a lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus .

Dealers caught by surprise ,express anger

Some  importers of second hand clothes   expressed anger  and wondered what  will happen to their containers which were shipped  before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak . “ Before containers  with  such goods are imported into the country  , we get UNBS certification. Now ,will UNBS revoke such  certification -when the containers are already on the high seas being transported to Uganda,” one dealer asked .

Uganda has been hailed for its management of the pandemic with the country registering  56 COVID-19 cases and most of the patients recovering from the virus with only 18 patients still undergoing treatment.

President Yoweri Museveni in his addresses to the nation since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has empathized the need to promote local manufacturing to ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities due to the global lockdown as countries struggle to deal with the coronavirus- that has wreaked unprecedented havoc.

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