EXCLUSIVE: TOTAL LOCKDOWN looms as COVID cases rise; President Museveni weighing options

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President Museveni warns religious leaders against risks of early re-opening of Places of Worship; File Photo

Exclusive reports from State House have confirmed that there is a looming total lockdown in Uganda.

Reliable sources have intimated that back-to-back meetings between members of the COVID-19 response Health team and President Museveni have been going on for the whole of this week, and endorsed total lockdown with tougher restrictions than what has been previously issued.

The decision according to sources, has been majorly anchored on the rising number of positive cases in the country and the laxity in Ugandans which authorities think may lead to catastrophic consequences.

Besides the rising numbers of positive coronavirus cases, the information tabled before president Museveni indicates that following the easing of the lockdown on 4th June, Ugandans have since disregarded SOP guidelines and reverted to near-normal life as if there is no virus in the country.

And, the president has come to believe so, hence the tough statements he made during the State of the Nation address and in the post-budget speech this week.

It was also reported that President Museveni dispatched a team of officials to the city center (Kikuubo trading area and other areas) on Friday to ascertain the public’s adherence to SOP’s and a report of findings has been handed over to him for consideration.

However, this is said to have been done to confirm what the president already knows that majority in the public wear masks for formality, no longer wash hands and public transport operators did not follow guidelines of sanitizing while others ignored the directives on half-capacity passenger load.

In the light of all this, the teams tabled several proposals before the president including a 30-Day Total Lockdown across the country, a total shutdown of the city and other urban centers, the dusk to dawn curfew and no movement of vehicles.

As proposed, people will not be allowed to even cross from one region to another. For instance; no person will be allowed to cross from central region to Busoga sub region and vice-versa.

Movements from one household to another will also be restricted too, to ensure zero transmission in communities.

However, President Museveni is still hesitant to issue such orders and still looking for an appropriate alternative considering the backlash this decision may attract from the public after what they have gone through in the last 75 days of partial lockdown.

Sources say president Museveni is much concerned that incidents of community transmission of the virus may further complicate the situation to unbearable levels considering the laxity in public as witnessed in a the last few weeks.

He also fears that once community transmission escalates, health facilities may get overwhelmed and things might quickly get out of hand.

The source noted that president Museveni was set to announce the final decision on Sunday 14th June, but this depended on the new numbers of confirmed positive cases the country records in the course of the week ending today.

With a busy week of budget and the State of the Nation address at hand, the president may be set to make a big announcement next week based on his judgement of the situation and other intelligence reports on his table.

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