Coronavirus Uganda: Lockdown extended for 21 more Days, violent offenders risk being shot

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President Museveni speaking during an address at Nakasero State House on Tuesday; NBS Photo

President Museveni has extended the countrywide partial lockdown in Uganda for 21 more days to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The 14-day lockdown and curfew which was announced by President Museveni on 30th March 2020 was set to expire on Tuesday at midnight.

President Museveni announced the extension during a televised national address he made on Tuesday from State House Nakasero. This means the country will be under lockdown until 5th May 2020.

Museveni said the stay home decision has been maintained for 21 days to give the government more time to study the situation and help defeat the coronavirus decisively, or understand how to cope with it.

“Lets first keep quite for the next 21 days, and if nothing worse comes up, we shall see what to do next.” Museveni said.

The extension comes as Uganda reported 54 coronavirus cases, the second lowest number of infections confirmed in the region.

Under the 14-day lockdown order, a night curfew was instituted, unnecessary movement banned, vendors were directed to stay-over in markets, and earlier issued measures maintained.

He said the measures issued earlier to fight coronavirus seem to have worked because up to 13th April 2020, of the 5664 persons tested, only 54 have been found positive with the virus.

Museveni said it is still early to confirm that the fight against coronavirus in Uganda is over, because of continued entry of people at borders, and asymptomatic carriers who can still pass on the virus to other people.

Out of these 4000 were returnees 1232 had contact with the returnees and 402 had no travel history, which he said proves that the measures in the fight against coronavirus have paid off.

He said it is amazing how Ugandans keep risking their lives for the love of money.

Museveni however said during the 21 days, government will come up with a systematic plan to revert to normal life.

He said during the next 21 days, government efforts will now focus on people still entering the country through both gazetted and non-gazetted borders.

Cargo trucks and crews of trains, aircraft cargo crews, health workers and UN staff who fly in and out of the country will be subjected to mandatory testing.

The offenders including enforcers who connive to permit entry of travelers into the country will be charged with murder according to President Museveni.

He applauded market vendors who have complied with the directives and spend nights in the market.

Market vendors will be offered mosquito nets, and polythene covering to protect them from rain while the markets will be fumigated to stop spread of malaria.

He warned that throwing stones at security officers on duty is dangerous and the forces will use live fire to defend themselves since they are not reinforced with protective gear.

“The wanainchi must know where to stop; you beat me i beat you!” he advised security forces to aim at legs to subdue offenders who violently attack security forces on duty.

He said lives of law enforcement officers must be protected.

Museveni saluted health workers who are at the frontline to fight coronavirus for their effort to save Ugandans.

This means, schools, religious and political gatherings, public transport and any form of gathering of more than 5 people remain banned as a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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