President Yoweri Museveni has banned inter-district movement, following an increase in COVID-19 cases that has occurred in a space of only 14 days.
While addressing the nation on Sunday night, the president revealed that currently, Uganda has 52,929 cumulative cases, 374 deaths reported & confirmed and 43,487 recoveries.
He added that currently, the country has 634 patients (277 severe & 37 critical) all admitted in both public and private facilities.
According to Mr. Museveni, this means that only 8% of the cases confirmed in the last 14 days are on admission.
“We are concerned that this will exhaust the available bed space and oxygen supply in hospitals, unless we constitute urgent public health measures. In this wave, the intensity of severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients and deaths is higher than what we experienced in the 1st wave of the pandemic. In the previous wave, it took us 3-4 months to get to the current state of critical and severe patients, while in the 2nd wave, it has taken us less than 2 weeks to get to the same situation” the president said.
In this second wave, scientists have revealed that the most affected age group are the young people aged 20-39 years old with observed increasing transmission among the 10-19 years.
President Museveni said there is an increased number of clusters of infections in schools since March 2021, with a total of 948 reported cases in 43 schools distributed in 22 districts. He however adds that, Kampala, Gulu, Masaka and Oyam districts combined, constitute 61% of the reported cases in schools and higher institutions of learning.
“We believe this number is much higher, only that most schools are not reporting. The number of infections in schools is largely attributed to; poor compliance to SOPs, inadequate sanitation facilities, overcrowding in some schools, failure by some school administrations to monitor signs and symptoms among the learners and timely reporting, and concealment of infections in some schools by the school administrators” the president added.
He therefore based on this, to direct closure of all schools with effect from 8:00am this morning and asked that all children must be home by Thursday 10th June 2021, when the ban on inter-district travel will stop.
Every Ugandan must remain in the district where the 10th of June will find them, as they will not be allowed to cross into another.
Public and private transport will not be allowed to cross district borders, except for cargo vehicles, essential workers and tourist vans. This is meant to contain the disease in areas where it is too much, and stop it from being spread elsewhere.
The president also announced that curfew shall be maintained at 9pm for motor vehicles and 6pm for boda bodas. Unlike in the past lockdown where boda bodas were only allowed to carry goods, this time round, they can carry one passenger. However, the president warned that if they do not adhere to his directives, a total lockdown shall be instituted within 7 days.
Also, all arcades, shops and supermarkets except for pharmacies, must close at 7pm. These must also ensure that all people accessing their premises including employees and clients adhere to the SOPs set by the health Ministry. Failure to follow this, the president will institute a full lockdown. Meanwhile, the president closed all places of worship for 42 days, but allowed lodges to continue working, with their bar sections closed.