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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Why Museveni is likely to declare a return to Covid19 lockdown

President Yoweri Museveni and his cabinet are expected to make a decision on whether to announce another Covid19 lockdown.

Ahead of another key presidential Coronavirus address scheduled shortly before September, Museveni is likely issue stringent measures after a spike in Covid19 cases.

With the Coronavirus infection toll at 1,560 and deaths at 15, health officials have attributed the rise in cases to complacence among Ugandans.

Since the easing of the Covid19 lockdown, cases have increased with numbers hitting at least 60 daily, according to results Ministry of Health (MoH) released on August 16 and 17.

Also worrying MoH is the fact that the Kampala Metropolitan Area has registered an increase in number of patients and fatalities.

These cases include ones confirmed from at arcades.

Hosting over four million people during daytime, the capital Kampala is now a Covid19 hotspot.

In the first few months of the pandemic, people from border districts, truck drivers and returnees from abroad formed the bulk of the country’s infection toll.

Health ministry officials have variously warned that a spike in cases could overwhelm the healthcare system, and mean more deaths.

The current Covid19 case spike could force the Museveni administration to announce a return to lockdown to prevent mass deaths.

Government is considering three options: lockdown for public transport and arcades, for hotspot areas like Kampala, and a countywide shutdown — partial or full.

Public transport and arcades could be affected first.

Works and transport minister Gen Katumba Wamala has warned that bodaboda, taxi and bus operations could be suspended over failure to follow standard operating procedures.

“Fellow Ugandans, it has come to my attention that some taxi operators and motorists are not obeying the Covid19 guidelines in place,” Gen Wamala tweeted on August 17.

“With the increasing cases of community transmission, we may be forced to halt public transport.”

On the same day, the joint security taskforce announced it was mulling strict enforcement of Covid19 guidelines.

This would mean impounding of vehicles whose drivers flout measures, and locking arcades which have failed to implement the regulations.

These measures include recording of clients’ details, face mask wearing and regular hand washing.

Recently, government announced it would start enforcing compulsory face mask wearing once distribution of free ones is complete.

Two of the arcades recently recorded Covid19 cases.

The reopening of arcades had been preceded by negotiations between traders’ associations on one hand, and ministry of trade, industry and cooperatives, and that of Kampala affairs on the other.

But as with bodabodas and taxis, arcades have received criticism for being complacent.

Besides, suspending public transport and arcades with Covid19 cases, government is also considering placing Kampala and Wakiso under a lockdown as had been the case in border districts.

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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