Ugandans are up in arms against the government decision to let truck drivers cross into the country from Tanzania and Kenya, the East African countries with the highest number of CoronaVirus/COVID19 cases.
The anger that has seen a hashtag #StopTruckDrivers trend at number one on twitter, started last night when Minister of health Jane Ruth Aceng tweeted that 11 new cases had been confirmed on Thursday. The minister added that Uganda’s COVID-19 cases currently stand at 74. She also noted that the 11 cases were all of truck drivers from Tanzania and Kenya.
“We tested a total of 1,331 samples today at Uganda Virus Research Institute. Of these, 1,020 samples are from truck drivers, while all 311 samples from the community and individual quarantine tested negative for COVID-19. 11 new COVID-19 cases confirmed today. 6 Tanzanian truck drivers who arrived via Mutukula border, 6 Kenyan truck drivers; 3 arrived via Malaba and 2 arrived via Busia. Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 IN Uganda is now at 74” the minister announced.
This drew anger amongst the Ugandan community on twitter and facebook among other social media platforms and they are demanding that government stops truck drivers from entering the country.
Many claim that all latest confirmed are all imported from Tanzania and Kenya, carried by Cargo Truck Drivers who should be stopped and quarantined at the border points. Some Ugandans have even suggested that local drivers be hired to receive trucks at the border point and continue with the journey so the other ones can go back home.
One twitter user wrote that “They should stay at the border, after all they are not importing oxygen….#StopTruckDrivers”.
Another user says; “The truck drivers deliver us the supplies that we so badly need in the country. But in my opinion, a driver should drive in his country. Let’s say cargo is driven from Kenya, reaches our border and the truck is disinfected and a Ugandan driver takes on #Stop Truck Drivers.”
President Yoweri Museveni in his speech on Sunday explained that truck drivers are bringing into the country essential materials that Ugandans cannot live without. He insisted that the truck drivers are tested and left to enter the country and continue with their deliveries.
These are however called when their results come through and if negative, they are tracked down together with their contacts. He also directed that only two people are allowed in a truck.
This morning, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Diana Atwiine said they were working around the clock to put in place measures to manage the truck drivers. “We are also putting in place mechanism to manage the problem of truck drivers. Please stay vigilant” she tweeted.
She insists Ugandans still need the supplies we cannot manufacture locally.