President Museveni has urged Ugandans not to compromise their lives by exposing themselves to risky situations due to the asymptomatic nature of coronavirus. He advised Ugandan to stay home if they are not so sure of their safety.
Museveni was addressing the nation a day after Uganda confirmed the first coronavirus case yesterday when one person tested positive on arrival from Dubai where he had spent 3 days on a business trip.
President Museveni said business appointments, and errands can wait as the authorities monitor the trajectory the outbreak of CODIV-19 takes.
He said there is a strong likelihood that the victim picked coronavirus from Dubai, though a possibility that he left the country with the virus cannot also be ruled out.
He said the victim who tested positive of coronavirus last evening is evidence that one can remain asymptomatic only to develop symptoms in a few days since he left the country on 19th March only to test positive 3 days later which shows the complexity of detection of the disease.
He said after closing schools and banning public gatherings, the only remaining danger is public transport due to the proximity of passengers to one another.
He therefore appealed to Ugandans who don’t own private means of transport to remain home instead of risking catching coronavirus in public vehicles.
“Stay home, where are you going?” Museveni said. He also urged people with symptoms of coronavirus like fever, coughing and sneezing to also stay home.
“Please anybody with a cold, or sneezing out, don’t go into the public…stay home and manage it from there.” He said.
Besides shaking hands Museveni said Ugandans should ensure social distancing and desist from the practice of touching elbows as a sign of greeting.
“I don’t want anyone to hit me with an elbow. These are idiotic things! I don’t want that nonsense that you want my elbow to box you. I have met you, greeted you, and elbow for what?” the tough talking Museveni said.
He however said he has not banned public transport but appealed to managers not to allow anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus to board their vehicles. He advised them to arrange and acquire temperature monitoring equipment in taxi and bus parks, and ensure they have utilities for hand-washing and disinfecting vehicles. He said it is the only remaining danger.
To students who were recently sent home from schools, Museveni advised them not to loiter in towns because it may nullify the government’s efforts to fight coronavirus. He advised students to stay in their parents’ homes where they can be safe.
As for workplaces, president Museveni said organizations and companies can freely continue to operate under guidelines because they have capability to regulate their employees, but public places like bars, nightclubs and discos must remain closed.
Museveni has said he is ready to lead the war against coronavirus the same way he led war against epidemics like Polio, Ebola and HIV. He rallied Ugandans to join him in the war against CODIV-19, saying it must be a popular resistance war like the bush war where ordinary people joined the frontline. He said he is ready to lead the war against coronavirus.
“I led the villagers to defeat the soldiers who were earning a salary from government, now I am ready to lead you to defeat coronavirus”