Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | President Yoweri Museveni will be back on air today to clarify on the measures he announced related to the COVID-19 lock-down yesterday.
“After receiving lots of feedback from the public on his address last evening, President Museveni will today, at 8pm, hold a televised address to respond to some of the issues,” said his press secretary Don Wanyama.
President Yoweri Museveni had Monday announced 11 new measures as a precondition to the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Most of the measures would actually take effect in two weeks time, when the free masks government has promised all Ugandans are delivered.
Ugandan commentators have argued about when the measures actually go into effect, and if NYTIL would be able to manufacture enough masks to meet demand in two weeks time.
✳ 1. Shops selling general merchandize will open provided they are not in the shopping malls, shopping arcades and food markets.
✳ 2. The heroic market women that have slept in the work places for all these days, will be allowed to go home and come back to work daily if they want to.
✳ 3. Public transport will resume but with strict regulations. Mini-buses, buses, taxis, tuku-tukus can operate provided they carry only a half of their normal capacity. Public transport won’t operate in border districts for another 21 days.
✳ 4. Boda bodas won’t carry passengers yet. They should continue to carry cargo as they have been doing during the time of the lock-down.
✳ 5. Bars, night-clubs, gyms, saunas, swimming pools and hair-salons, will stay closed for another 21 days since they cannot easily observe the rules of social distancing.
✳ 6. The International borders of Uganda and the airport will remain closed so that we do not import additional cases from outside.
✳ 7. Education institutions can open but only for finalists/candidate classes. There will be no first-term examinations. Social distancing is a must. Other learners will wait for now.
✳ 8. Curfew from 1900hours until 0630 hours , remains in place for another 21 days.
✳ 9. Food restaurants can open as long as the clients observe social-distancing and there is no air-conditioning which spreads the virus.
✳ 10. People with private cars will be allowed to drive as long as the car does not carry more than 3 people, including the driver.
✳ 11. All the other restrictions will remain in place for 21 days.
The president also relaxed on the restrictions on some of the businesses. For example, he allowed shops selling general merchandise provided they are not in malls, food markets or arcades to resume.
He emphasized that in the immediate future, those selling nonfood items will not be allowed for as long as the virus still poses a threat and before a vaccine is got. Museveni also allowed vendors who have been sleeping in markets to commute daily to the market.
However, public transport will be allowed to resume provided buses, taxis, and buses carry half their normal capacity to avoid overcrowding. But these will have to wait for two weeks until June 2, when the distribution of masks across the country has been effected.
Restriction on public transport will continue for another 21 days in all border districts with Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda among others.
According to the new measures, taxi brokers and touts, should start thinking of other jobs as the President said moving forward, he doesn’t want to ‘hear noise makers.’
Bodaboda and tuk-tuk riders also have to wait for another 21 days before they can carry passengers because according to Museveni, it’s hard to space between the rider and the passenger.
Private cars are also free to move with a maximum of three people the driver inclusive, provided that they too have face masks.
The president also allowed for the reopening of schools for candidate classes; P7, S4, S6 and finalists in tertiary institutions and universities. He said however, there will not be end of term one exams.
“The rest of the learners should be patient. It’s better to be alive,” Museveni said.
Hotels and food restaurant can also open as long as there is social distancing and don’t have air conditioning. For bars, night clubs, saloons, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, arcades, shopping malls among others, will not be allowed to reopen since it’s hard to enforce social distancing rules.
The air, land and water borders will remain closed so that no new additional cases are imported, according to the president. The 7pm to 6:30 am curfew was also left intact for another 21 days as well as other restrictions outside those that he explicitly mentioned.
🔸 12 new cases (UG truck drivers)
🔸 32 not allowed into country
✳ 73,904 Overall tests done
✳ 260 Total Confirmed cases
✳ 63 Recoveries
✳ 0 deaths