The President of Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Wednesday 18th March held a state of the nation address over the issue of coronavirus.
Uganda is among the few countries that are yet to register any cases of Coronavirus and so far measures are being put in place to ensure that this continues that way.
In his address to the nation, the President was expected to put closure to certain activities and indeed he did exactly that.
According to the medical information floating around, Coronavirus spreads quickly in congested places and so the government was moving quickly to ensure that they limited these aspects.
Of course, this move comes just days after neighbors Kenya, Rwanda, Congo and Tanzania had reported to have registered their first cases of Coronavirus.
What has been suspended in Uganda as a result of Coronavirus?
Schools, sports activities, religious gatherings were some of the activities that Kenya put on hold as they aim at ensuring that the population is safe from the coronavirus.
President Museveni ordered that all schools, Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Vocational Institutions and Universities go on suspension for the next 30 days as Uganda continues to monitor the situation on Coronavirus.
While closing all educational centers, President Museveni noted that these institutions constituted to a big number of the population and that they also interact with various groups of people which would make it easier for them to spread the virus should they contract it.
The other sector that suspended was the religious gatherings where the president reminded the public that God is Omnipresent and so He will hear them when they pray from home too. Uganda has a budding religious sector and on given days, certain groups will have congregations of thousands of people attending service.
“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” – Advised President Museveni
Social Media critics were quick to make fun of this asking where the good church leaders will get their money only to be reminded that mobile money exists. So please, don’t be afraid to send in your tithe and miracle offertory.
Political, cultural, concerts gatherings and bars were also suspended for 30 days by the government. Uganda is one of the countries with many political gatherings. Most importantly though is that Ugandans go to the bar and drink alcohol like they are practicing for drinking race.
Countries like Italy, France, South Korea, China, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway Austria, Malaysia, Pakistan and San Marino have been classified as Category one considering the cases of Coronavirus that they have registered and government has banned Ugandan citizens from traveling to and through those nations for the next 32 days.
Foreigners are however free to do as they wish provided they don’t intent to travel back to Uganda in the time stipulated by government.
“We extend our sympathies to those countries and commend them for fighting on the behalf of the human race.” Noted President Museveni.
On the subject of Ugandans returning home from abroad “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.”
Work places that aren’t agricultural have been advised to use Ministry of Health Standards of Operations during this time “factories, hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi-parks, etc. These should continue functioning but with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) put out by the Ministry of Health.”
The president advised Ugandans who love to hold weddings that have thousands of people to hold scientific weddings that only have maximum of 10 during this one month of suspension of public gatherings. The same advice was passed on to burials that would be held during the same time frame.
Uganda depends a lot on public transport and president Museveni advised as follows ““Do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary, if you are using public transport”. Additionally, the companies that operate these means of transport should be given mandatory SOPs by the Ministry of Health: hand-washing, not allowing sick people on board, temperature monitors etc.”
While banning entertainment and sports gatherings like the discos, the dances, bars, sports, music shows, cinemas and concerts, president Museveni stated that “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.”
As he concluded his address to Uganda, president Museveni encouraged the public to exercise good hygiene as this is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading fast enough but also encouraged proper nutrition.
Dr. Ruth Acheng the Minister of Health encouraged Ugandans to eat lots of fruits, drink at least 3 liters of water per day and also eat all their full meals so that the body is ready to fight should they contract the virus.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.