All schools are to be closed for one month starting Friday 20th March 2020, President Yoweri Museveni has ordered. The president made this order while addressing the nation on the current pandemic of CoronaVirus or COVID19 that has left the entire world in panic.
“It is wise that we temporarily remove these concentration points by closing all the Primary and Secondary schools as well as all the Universities and Tertiary Institutions for one month, starting with Friday, the 20th of March, 2020, starting at mid-day”
The president said that all the institutions, without exception, should close so that the country denies this virus those concentrations.
The president also ordered that there is no religious gatherings on Friday and Sundays for prayers in order to prevent an outbreak of the disease. He instead advised Religious leaders to hold prayers on Radio and TV stations.
The president urged them to take an example of His Holiness Pope Francis who has for some weeks been holding Mass through TV.
“In the interests of our people’s health, these should be suspended for a month with immediate effect. The Religious leaders can use the TVs, Radios stations to continue preaching. His Holiness, Pope Francis, as usual set a good example of enlightenment on this by abandoning his customary preaching in St. Peters’ Square and is instead, using the TV” he noted.
Also banned, are the political or cultural, Public rallies, conferences, elections, etc. All these, Mr. Museveni said are hereby forbidden for 32 days with immediate effect.
Ugandans have been banned from traveling to CATEGORY 1 countries including: Italy, France, South Korea, China, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway Austria, Malaysia, Pakistan and San Marino with immediate effect.
However, foreigners going to those countries are free to do so provided they do not intend to come back within the prohibited time. Also, Ugandans in these countries are free to return home as long as they are willing to pay or quarantine.
“We cannot stop Ugandans coming back from abroad, even from the category one countries that I read above. However, such Ugandans will be put in a mandatory quarantine in a designated place but they will pay the cost for their institutional quarantine ─ food, etc. If they want to avoid that inconvenience or cost, they can sit out the storm in the country of their temporary abode.”
Also banned are; discos, the dances, bars, sports, music shows, cinemas and concerts. “These are very dangerous gathering points with the virus around. Drunkards sit close to one another. They speak with saliva coming out of their mouth. They are a danger to themselves. All these are suspended for a month” he noted.
President also banned luxurious weddings, while funerals are to be attended by a few relatives close to the area of the deceased.
Factories, hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi-parks, will continue functioning but with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) put out by the Ministry of Health. These will include: compulsory hand-washing by all persons who enter or exit those work places, anybody with symptoms of sickness should not be allowed access for any reason, by the employers installing temperature monitors. The Ministry will publish the detailed SOPs as part of the Statutory Instrument to be signed by the Minister of Health with immediate effect.
People are not to use public transport means like buses, taxis and boda bodas unless it is necessary.
Farmers (cattle keepers and cultivators), the other danger area are the monthly markets. These should also be suspended for the 32 days. Buying of crops and livestock (cattle, goats, chicken, etc.), can go on but from the homesteads. They do not have to congregate.