FULL LIST: Highlights from President Museveni’s latest address on COVID-19
President Yoweri Museveni yesterday night delivered yet another address on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in a speech that was keenly followed by the public through television, radio, and internet live streams.
Numerous sections of the public, particularly students and business persons operating in arcades, hoped for the lifting of stringent lockdown measures, however, the president informed the nation that the process will be gradual to avoid a spike in cases.
Below are the key messages from his address.
1. Curfew time will stay from 7pm to 6.30am. The measure is both a security and health intervention.
2. Private vehicles can now carry four, up from three passengers, including the driver. They should observe SOPs like wearing masks.
3. Boda bodas. Despite innovations like barriers between rider and passenger, they remain a high risk carrier. Bodas will stay carrying cargo, not passengers.
4. Places of worship will stay closed. They’d pose a difficulty in contact tracing and are a high risk contamination area.
5. Arcades will stay closed. However, relevant agencies will work with arcade owners to pilot prevention procedures to inform future relaxation.
6. Mobile markets, like arcades, will stay closed. They are high risk areas, present difficulty in contact tracing, etc.
7. Hawkers(ing), vendors should be discouraged. They get in contact with many people, can’t be traced etc. However, they need targeted education/information.
8. Repatriation of bodies for burial in Uganda. They can be repatriated but with strict SOPs from health and foreign affairs ministries. E.g. Body must be wrapped in a waterproof body bag, placed in a zinc lined coffin and an outer metal or wooden box.
9. Salons will stay closed. Activities here involve close contact between/among people. Contact tracing would be difficult too.
10. Travel in and out of Uganda for medical reasons should be barred, in principle. However, Ministry of Health and other agencies can handle case by case.
11. The following border districts will stay under lockdown: Rakai, Kyotera, Amuru, Buikwe, Gulu, Arua, Adjumani, Moyo, Nebbi, Zombo, Adjumani, Arua, Busia and Bulisa. The lockdown in the following border districts can be relaxed: Amudat, Bududa, Bukwo, Bundibugyo, Buvuma, Hoima, Isingiro, Kaabong, Kabale, Kalangala, Kanungu, Kasese, Kikuube, Kisoro, Kitgum, Koboko, Kween, Lamwo, Maracha, Mayuge, Moroto, Namayingo, Namisindwa, Ntoroko. The others are Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Pakwach, Rubanda, Rubirizi, Rukiga, Rukungiri, Sironko, and Yumbe.
12. Education institutions will stay closed. Its still too risky to open schools. In the meantime, government will launch a big long-distance education programme through radios. Each homestead will get a radio set.
13. The Independent Electoral Commission, after consulting scientists, has proposed a “scientific” electoral process. Ugandans should support this exercise. Gender & Educ ministries will register those affected such as salon operators, private universities, secondary & primary schools, etc., so that they can be helped, not with free money, but cheap capital when their activities resume.