Government Closes Borders, Tightens Control Measures over COVID19

Saturday, March 21, 2020

STATE HOUSE, ENTEBBE: President Museveni has announced more stringent measures for the Ugandan population to adhere to, so as to combat the novel Coronavirus. 

During his second national address on the pandemic yesterday at State House Entebbe, the President explained that because of the indiscipline that had been shown by the people coming into Uganda during the quarantine, the government had decided to tighten and revise the measures.

On the issue of transport, President Museveni ordered for the prohibition of all incoming and outgoing passengers at all entry points of the country. He emphasized that there would be no pedestrians on foot, bicycles, mini buses, vehicles and planes entering the country. He ordered that those who plan on leaving and coming to the country should postpone, as they would not be allowed.

The President noted that the only expectation would be cargo planes that will land in and out and emergency planes of organizations like the UN. He added that domestic flights will continue flying, but that these would change depending on the situation.

On ground transport, President Museveni noted that it was only cargo transport that would be allowed and would include not more than three people and that this was after the Ministry of Transport had issued a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) on how to handle this. 

He noted that this measure would begin effective midnight on the 22nd of March 2020.

President Museveni urged anybody who has cough or flu not to be out in public but should stay at home. He cautioned the young people to take the situation seriously because new information had revealed that the virus was now killing the youth faster. 

On matters of the economy, President Museveni assured Ugandans that the economy would continue to strive in other areas apart from the entertainment and tourism industry which will be affected. He encouraged the businessmen to use this as an opportunity to establish manufacturing factories in the country.

“I don’t share excessive pessimism regarding the economy like some people. The sector of manufacturing will boom. This is a chance to end the hemorrhage caused by people who have turned our country into a supermarket. The government will work out a package to actualize that,” he said.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng appealed to the public to stop stigmatizing people who were quarantined or in self isolation, saying that this does not necessarily mean that they were sick. She reiterated the Ministry of Health will be sending an SOP in seven different languages regarding hygiene for people to follow.