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UGANDA: Another lockdown

Shops and markets will remain open this time.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has tightened COVID-19 preventive measured by  reinstating  some of last year’s tough COVID-19 measures. The measures have been brought back to forestall the spread of the virus in communities.

According to President Museveni, the measures are needed to address the fast rate at which the disease is spreading. As of today, 68,778 cases of the disease have been reported in the country. However due to an increase at the rate at which the disease is spreading , dwindling oxygen supplies in hospital  and longer recovery times, the President said that country’s best option was to prevent spread of the disease.

The measures that have returned include; a ban on all non-essential movement, closures of schools for the next 42 days and the revising of curfew hours to start at 7pm from 9pm..According to President Musenevi, the measures if all followed will lead to a decrease in cases.

President Museveni says people need to stay home to stop transmitting the disease.

Also, curfew hours have been revised to start at 7:00 pm and end at 5:30 am. Previously, curfew has been starting at 9:00 pm and ending at 5:30 am. For bodabodas,curfew has been shifted from 6:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Motor vehicles and bodabodas will only be allowed to move to transport the sick to health facilities. However the president says all persons seeking treatment  need to have written permission from an LC1, a Resident District Commissioner and a health worker.

The president has also closed for the next 42 days business centers nationwide. Populated areas like Kikuubo located in downtown Kampala will not be allowed to open.

In addition to this, President Museveni also tightened the noose on bars and discotheques. He asked all local government officials to cancel licenses of all bars that are found open during the lockdown. And rather than focusing on the revelers, it is now the bar operators to be arrested and heavily fined.

Sectors that will also remain closed are places of worship, schools and none food markets.

Exempted from the movement ban are licensed tourist vehicles carrying tourist who are expected to follow all guidelines, and all Ugandans returning to the country and cargo vehicles. However all persons in this category will have to undergo testing before and cargo vehicles will only be allowed to have a maximum of two passengers.

Sectors that will also remain open include: agriculture, industry, cargo, health, security and utilities.

In addition to this, food markets will remain open. Just like last year, the president has stopped the vendors form moving and has rather urged them to sleep in the markets. The vendors will be provided sleeping mosquito nets by the ministry of health.

“Food market vendors should revert to the position of March 2020 and stay at their places of work. The ministry of health should give them free bed nets so that they are not bitten by mosquitoes but when you sleep do not be together because we have found in the army that that causes infections.

They should also get buveera to shield from the rain, the president said.

The number of persons accepted to attend public gathering has been retained at 20.

However, this time round, only close family members should take part in the burials.

The new measures come ten days after the president has closed schools and banned cross border movement. According to the president, all the directives will be implemented by the National COVID-19 task Force in collaboration with regional and district task forces. The task forces will get funding from the ministry of Finance to carry out all the necessary surveillance.

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