- 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 .