• National Task Force is set to meet President tomorrow to decide on the next phased opening of the economy
  • Kenya extends lockdown by 21 days
  • Ugandans face economic distress in lockdown

All Long distance truck drivers will now have to be tested  before crossing into the country  and those found  positive of Covid-19  will not be allowed entry into Uganda according to a new directive from President Yoweri Museveni.

The additional new measures have been instituted after Uganda registered the highest number of truck drivers  who tested  positive for Covid 19 this week bringing the total of confirmed cases to 203. “ The government of Uganda has taken further steps to reduce on the risk posed  by long distance truck drivers that transit through the country . The President of Uganda has directed that  all truck drivers will be tested before crossing into the country  and all those that turn out positive will not be granted entry ,” a  government statement released  today by the Minister of Information Communication Technology and National Guidance, Ms. Judith Nabakooba says.

However, according to the statement , government has made an exception for Elegu along the South Sudan border where routine testing will be carried out and those  found positive will be treated .  This will be done as the government in South Sudan builds capacity  to set up its own testing and treatment facilities .

Government also announced that it is undertaking arrangements to  repatriate all Ugandans  that are stranded in different countries due to the global lock down caused by the Covid -19 pandemic.

“ A committee chaired by the Prime Minister  has finalized arrangements on proposals to repatriate Ugandans in a phased manner .  The Ministry  of Health  will be in charge of arranging places to quarantine  the returning citizens ,” the statement reads in part .

Task force to advice President on more opening up of the economy  and easing restrictions on movement of people

The   National Task force in charge of the response to fight the coronavirus is scheduled to meet tomorrow  to advice the president  on how to continue with a more phased opening  up of the country following a two month  nationwide lockdown and curfew that has left many citizens in economic distress.

It is hoped that more businesses will be allowed to open including private transport  ,easing on the curfew hours but  limitations for long distance  public transport will remain in force for now.  Already, several companies including media giants The New Vision  and  Nation Group have laid- off workers and instituted pay cuts due to economic  slowdown  as a result of the coronavirus that’s ravaging the world  .    The Islamic University I Uganda (IUIU)  has also suspended all contracts for its academic and non teaching staff.

Health Minister Aceng  acts

Else where the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth  Aceng   and State Minister  for Health in charge of General Duties , on Friday commissioned the first Port Health laboratory at Mutukula along the Uganda Tanzania border  in a concerted effort to test all people coming through the border especially long distance truck drivers  who have led to a dramatic rise in the Covid cases confirmed in Uganda.

The gene expert laboratory with 2 machines and capacity to run  64 sampler per hour can return results in less than 45 minutes .

 In neighboring Kenya

In Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta announced his government’s decision  to extend  a dawn to dusk curfew by another 21 days  after Kenya recorded an alarming 830 confirmed infections and 50  deaths . most of the cases were imported from Somalia and Tanzania. He called the covid pandemic a “brutal and unforgiving enemy “ which must be fought .


Writer is a media and communications consultant And Advocate of the High Court of Uganda

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