Uganda begins two-week lockdown to stem coronavirus spread

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 31 Mar, 2020 08:48 | < 1 min read
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. [PHOTO | FILE]
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. [PHOTO | FILE]
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. [PHOTO | FILE]

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has announced a raft of strict measures lasting just over two weeks, to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In a televised national address on Tuesday evening, he announced a ban on private vehicle use, which would mean anyone needing emergency medical care will need to ask a high-level district official for permission before leaving their home.

Market traders selling food will also have to live close to their stalls for this period and cannot go back home.

Uganda has 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus but officials say numbers will rise.

Patients like pregnant women in labour will have to first call an official before going out to seek medical help, unless they can access a government vehicle. But these are often hard to come by.

There’s a real sense of confusion following the president’s address, though officials are promising to clarify the new directives.

Strict rules on public gatherings are already being enforced. Schools have been closed and public transport banned.

President Yoweri Museveni has promised food donations for people who have lost their income under the new restrictions. But he’s ordered the police to arrest politicians who offer food hand-outs to communities and for them to be charged with attempted murder.

In recent days, his opponents Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye have been offering help to vulnerable Ugandans. The President says their actions could cause crowds to gather and for the virus to spread.