Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni dropped a shocker on Monday night when he announced a two-week lockdown as he steps up the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
President Museveni (pictured) read a lengthy speech educating the public on the spread of the disease and the remedies to limit its spread, as have been recommended by the World Health Organization.
He said: “Given its spread methods-sneezing and coughing by an inconsiderate and careless person in a cluster of people bunched together as well as an individual’s own carelessness of touching the soft parts of your body… without washing your hands or sanitizing them first… after careful study… We, therefore, adopted the strategy of dispersing any concentration that may provide fuel to this virus.”
The Ugandan head of State came up with a list of measures to restrict movement and contacts between the people. He described them as sounding exaggerated but will be beneficial in the long run.
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“If we use a hammer to kill a fly (taking too strong measures to deal with a small problem), it will be better than being complacent only to find out later that too many Ugandans are infected and they're dying as is happening in other countries,” he posted on his Twitter page on Tuesday morning.
While declaring the national lockdown, Museveni took the following measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.
- Closed all the Educational Institutions which accounted for 15 million young Ugandans;
- Suspended communal prayers in Mosques, Churches or in Stadia and other open-air venues;
- Stopped all public political rallies, cultural gatherings or conferences;
- Banned Ugandans from moving to or through category one (I) countries that had had a large number of corona cases by that time;
- Allowed returning Ugandans in provided they undergo mandatory quarantine, at their cost, for 14 days at a venue identified by the Ministry of Health;
- Allowed the non-agricultural gathering points to continue but with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) put out by the Ministry of Health. Such are factories, hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi-parks, etc.;
- Discouraged the hexagonal, extravagant Ugandan-style wedding. The couples encouraged to go for the scientific weddings by the actual stakeholders, accompanied by a few people;
- Burials not postponed but it should be for a few people-the concerned homesteads;
- Farmers unaffected because they are dispersed in their farms, plantations but animal markets were suspended;
10. All forms of public transport suspended,
11. The discos, dances, bars, sports, music shows, cinemas, and concerts were all suspended;
12. Stopped all passengers coming into Uganda by air, land or water; this affected in-coming planes, buses, taxis or boats;
13. Also prohibited from entry were the pedestrians-people walking on foot from the neighbouring countries.
14. The established Food Markets in Kampala and the other towns should continue to be open.
15. Shopping malls, arcades, hardware shops, which gather a lot of people to sell and buy non-food items also suspended for two weeks.
16. Only food stores, stores selling agricultural products, veterinary products, detergents, and pharmaceuticals remain open.
17. Saloons, Lodges, and garages shut for 14 days from the 1st of April, 2020.
18. Construction sites should continue if they can be able to encamp their workers for 14 days.
19. The essential services are: the medical, veterinary, telephones, door-to-door delivery, Banks, Private Security companies, cleaning services, garbage collection, fire-brigade, petrol stations, water departments, and some KCCA staff should continue to operate. URA ordered not to close business on account of not paying taxes in these 14 days.
20. Gatherings of more than 5 persons are hereby prohibited.
21. Permission can be sought from the government authorities to use private transport to take such persons to the hospital.
Uganda has 33 positive cases and nil deaths as of now. Those who have tested positive are 31 Ugandan nationals and two Chinese nationals.