President Museveni Addresses the Nation on the COVID-19 Situation in Uganda
Vote of Thanks | Bravo to the Brave Team on the front-line of this pandemic in Uganda and Around the Globe
Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Team would like to thank every single man and woman involved in the treating of coronavirus patients around the world.
There are thousands of these brave medical officers around the world, in our country Uganda, in neighboring Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, across Africa and the world at large.
All of these deserve praise for putting their own lives at risk to save that of another. Many have died in the line of duty as the pandemic continues to claim life after life but they will forever be heroes.
Prime Updates | Latest in Uganda: No New cases of COVID-19 as of 30th March 2020
The Ministry of Health of Uganda for the first time since the outbreak came with good new that there were no new Coronavirus cases as of 30th March.
We learn that a total of 82 samples studied at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe has returned negative for COVID-19.
There is some positive news coming in from the health ministry.
As of Monday 20th March 2020, as many as 1,271 samples have been tested for the deadly virus. However, only 33 of these have returned positive.
The 33 confirmed coronavirus cases in Uganda include 31 Ugandans and two Chinese nationals. “Almost all of them have come from Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Europe, USA and Afghanistan. Only three received the virus from the importers,” says the President.
Prime Updates| How the virus Spread; Take Caution says President Museveni
The President began his address by reminding Ugandans to take caution about the way COVID-19 is spread, by sometimes careless and inconsiderate people.
The first mode of transmission is when a sick person sneezes or coughs near you, emitting moisture.
The second way of transmission is when an infected individual pollutes surfaces and you touch the same surface and then to your soft openings on the face.
The virus cannot go through normal intact skin of the body, clarifies the President. He adds that the virus can attack people with other health complications such as HIV, cancer, etc.
Prime Updates| Uganda’s measures against COVID-19 spread
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the start of his address to the nation on the night of 30th March 2020 re-echoed the measures that Uganda has already taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Government of Uganda closed schools, universities, tertiary institutions, places of worship, as well as the suspension of night clubs and bars for about a month.
“Ugandan-style” weddings were also suspended for about a month as well as public burials, sports events and music shows.
Uganda, therefore, stopped all passengers coming into Uganda by air, land or water. Uganda also prohibited pedestrians from coming into the country from neighboring nations. Cargo aircraft and vehicles were, however, allowed to continue coming through.
Public transport was also suspended for a period of 14 Days.
However, the president said in his speech that officials learnt of gaps in these measures for example they learned that some people were “not obeying these measures, for instance, the returnees from abroad, from the high risk countries, were escaping from the quarantine even when it was mandatory”.
“These gaps were undermining the strategy of denying the virus the fuel that it could ignite and sustain its expansion by ensuring that there is no match-box and there is no dry grass ─ no virus and no concentrated masses,” says Museveni.
New Measures – President Museveni Addresses the Nation on the COVID-19 Situation in Uganda
People to people movement banned.
President Museveni declares that gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Besides gathering, the Government has banned all people to people movement including those using their private vehicles, boda bodas, rickshaws (tuk tuks), etc.
This has been done because some private car owners have turned their vehicles into taxis, transporting travellers from, say Kampala to Jinja, for an “exorbitant” sh 50,000. This ban on movement of private cars will take effect starting 10pm (March 30) and will last 14 days.
Shopping malls, saloons, lodges and non-food shops suspended for 14 Days
Shopping malls, arcades and hardware shops, gather a lot of people to sell and buy non-food items”, therefore have also been suspended for 14 days, announces President Museveni. The suspension takes effect on April 1 (Wednesday).
Additionally, all non-food shops (stores) must also close. Only shops (stores) selling food, agricultural products, veterinary products, detergents and pharmaceuticals should remain open.
However, the square distance of four meters must be observed. Also, the sellers must not go home during the 14 day and should arrange to stay nearby for the fortnight.
Saloons, lodges and garages must also be closed for 14 days, starting April 1.
Cargo transport, Supermarkets to remain operating, but . . .
The President of Uganda declared that supermarkets should remain open but while following standard operational procedures (SOPs) that should restrict the number of buyers entering and leaving at a time.
“A lot of people can be infected by handling the unsterilized trolleys within the supermarkets,” he says.
Meanwhile, cargo transport within Uganda and between Uganda and the outside must continue but only with the restricted numbers.
For instance, Lorries must not have more than three occupants. Cargo planes must have only the crew.
Factory owners & Construction sites should get accommodation for their workers for 14 Days or close
Factory owners should arrange for essential workers to camp near their premises. Those that won’t be able to should close for a period of 14 Days starting 1st April.
Construction sites should continue only if they are able to en camp their crucial workers. Short of this, they should suspend further activity.
Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Roads Authority and funeral services should also carry on with operations…
The president advised that the above should carry on with their operations. He however added that these employers should also find ways of encamping some of their workers. They can also get a special exemption from the resident district commissioner (RDC) with the concurrence of the district medical officer, says President Museveni.
Curfew Must starts 7pm on 31st March 2020
There will be a curfew across the whole of Uganda and this will last 14 days except for cargo planes, lorries, pick-ups and trains, starting on March 31 (Tuesday) at 7pm.
Let people stay indoors in their homes except for the cargo transporters,” cautions Museveni. Take note that the exemption of cargo transporters does not apply to boda bodas and rickshaws (tuk tuks).
However, the President says that for some “unavoidable health” issues such as mothers in child birth or very sick people, permission can be sought from the RDC to use private transport to take such a person to hospital.
Government Vehicles to be deployed at the District health Offices except…
Government vehicles that do not belong to UPDF, Police, Prisons or UWA are to be deployed at the district health offices, including the divisions of Kampala for health emergency situations.
Government workers should also stay at home for the 14 days, except for the army, Police, health, electricity, water and telephone workers, he added.
Government is set to discuss with Banks, Electricity & Water companies
“We are going to discuss with banks, electricity and water companies in connection with the loans and bills” to loosen their grip on non-fulfillment of payments during this difficult period, Museveni added.
Government to distribute relief food
The President adds that the measures that have been put in place to curb the coronavirus have put many people put off work, especially those who lead hand-to-mouth livelihoods.
After properly identifying these people, Museveni adds, government will distribute food to them in the form of maize flour, beans, powder milk, sugar, salt, etc.
He also warns “opportunistic and irresponsible politicians” who distribute food to people for “cheap popularity” to stop doing so as they are putting the lives of people at risk of contracting the virus.
“Anybody found doing so will be arrested and charged with attempted murder,” Museveni warns.
President Museveni concluded his speech by reminding Ugandans to remember to wash their hands with soap and water, avoid touching soft openings on their faces as well as heed all the announced measures to avoid contracting the deadly disease.
“The crucial point is the stopping of the epidemic. I do not want us to lose millions of our vulnerable people to this wholly avoidable epidemic just on account of indiscipline. What is the indiscipline?”
He then reads out a biblical extraction from the Book of Isaiah 26:20 shared to him recently by a sheikh. “Go home my people and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the lord’s anger has passed,” reads the verse.
As a Uganda tour Operator, this COVID-19 pandemic has affected many travel plans and tours including safaris in Uganda.
Tourists are canceling their booked trips in Uganda due to the closure of borders, international flights and lock down of certain countries where the tourists are coming from. We pray the best.