By Echonews Admin
Kampala: Following the Covid-19 Surge in the country, President Museveni has banned public and private transport which he says has led to the massive spread of the deadly virus.
The News Guidelines are as Follows;
Public and private transport:
It has been observed that Taxis/ Boda-Bodas drop passengers at district boundaries (relay system) to be taken over by their colleagues waiting across the boundary districts which may result in further spread of the virus in communities. Additionally, it has also been observed that despite this directive, human beings walk across district boundaries. This therefore has not achieved its intended purpose.
Furthermore, the movement of individuals fuels virus transmission, and without limiting the movement of persons which leads to mixing and re-remixing of individuals in the different categories of infected and non-infected. This needs to be stopped since and is the cornerstone of the current exponential transmission drive.
(a) Across the country, the Resident District Commissioners working with the Chief Administrative Officers and their District Health Officers are directed to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure all individuals that require medical care and medical evacuation in their respective districts, COVID-19 or otherwise are taken care of.
(b) Only registered tourists’ vehicles will be allowed to move. These should move directly to their destinations and designated places.
(c) Emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers vehicles will be allowed to move. (d) I have defined the ESSENTIAL SECTORS and where there is need for additional clarity, The Rt Hon Prime Minister will study such and communicate accordingly.
(e) Among the Essential Health workers include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, veterinary doctors, and other essential health staff. Details of other essential sectors will be worked out by the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister and her team. The essential workers will be given specific identifications
It is observed that some sections of the public are not adhering to the curfew hours (2100 Hrs to 0530 Hrs).
Directive: (a) As such, the curfew time throughout the country is pulled back to 1900Hrs to 0530 Hrs. All human beings except security and those authorized to move should be their homes.
(b) Boda-Bodas will only be allowed to move only up to 1700Hrs.
Observation: Testimonies from credible sources indicate that schools had been deliberately silent about infections among students due to fear of closure.
(i) All schools and institutions of learning remain closed for 42 days
(ii) The Ministry of Health to reactivate Village Health Teams (VHTs) under the Community Engagement Strategy (CES) to strengthen sensitization of the communities.
(iii) The Ministry of Local Government is hereby directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs) to be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of all SOPs.
(iv) The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs) should be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of the existing SOPs.
However, Museveni said Entebbe International Airport will remain open with strict guidelines for returnees and those leaving the country adding that the ministry of health will give details on how the airport will handle such cases.
Food Market Venders should revert to the Presidential Directive of March 2020 to stay in their places of work.
(b) Kikuubo and other Business Centres should be closed, and the situation reverts to the Presidential Directive of March 2020.
Whereas the compliance on this has been low, the high-risk factor assessed is the pressure of people seeking permission to go and attend burials from place to place. This poses the highest danger of spreading the virus and breaches of the strategy.
(i) Burials to be restricted to the core family as applied in the military.
(ii) The Committee I put in place during my last address – led by Major General Rusoke and Dr. Musenero should ensure the institution of a well-coordinated mechanism which enables a few family members to transport dead bodied for burial. RDC and DPC should ensure that all SOPs are observed and not more than 20 people attend burial. And avoid gatherings and visits to the deceased family after burials which will promote spread of the virus.
Bars, Discos, Sports Betting, and Cinema Halls:
Despite the directive, the bar owners and clients have not fully adhered.
(a) KCCA, URA and Local Government authorities are directed to close and seal off all the bars. Police should accordingly arrest and charge with hefty fines imposed for reopening.
(b) It serves no purpose arresting the revelers while allowing the owners to reopen the following morning.
Places of worship:
The churches, mosques, and sports sessions are congregating settings and are a source that fuels rapid virus transmission.
All places of worship and sports events remain suspended for 42 days
”For our lives to continue, the following sectors fully function: (a) agriculture, (b) industry, manufacturing and tourism, (c) health and medical services, (d) security (police and army), (e) utilities (water, electricity, mass media, telecoms, banking institutions, garbage/waste management, retail shops, and markets), (f) cargo transport and goods distribution. I have thus categorized these sectors as essential sectors” Museveni added.
Non-agricultural activities and markets:
Efforts have been made to bring on board different actors including Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport (MoW&T) among others. However, the surge of crowds has not sufficiently subsided despite the effort to enforce social distancing and the use face masks. This might not take away the danger of spreading COVID-19 as envisaged.