KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the closure of all schools for 30 days effective Friday, March 20.
In a televised address on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Museveni said the move is a measure to contain the potential spread of coronavirus.
“I have decided to close the Educational Institutions even before the occurrence of a single corona incident because I have observed the situation in other countries,” he said adding that “once the epidemic breaks out, there is so much stampede that the first suspect to be affected is transport.”
Uganda has not reported any case but has set up an isolation facility in Entebbe, about 45km south of the capital Kampala.
The country has restricted travel to 16 virus-hit countries including China, South Korea, and some European countries.
Key points from president Museveni’s address on COVID-19 pandemic
- Schools, tertiary institutions to close for one month starting Friday, 20th March.
- Religious gatherings, churches, mosques, open prayers suspended for a month with immediate effect.
- Political and cultural public meetings, rallies, conferences, elections suspended for 32 days with immediate effect.
- No outbound travel by Ugandans to or through Category One countries (those severely affected by pandemic) for 32 days. These are; Italy, France, South Korea, China, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway Austria, Malaysia, Pakistan, and San Marino.
Foreigners can leave but not return in the 32 days.
- Ugandans coming back from abroad, including category one countries, will be quarantined at their cost.
- Non-agricultural workplaces, factories, hotels, taxi parks, etc will continue operating but with SoPs, put out by the ministry of health, eg compulsory sanitary points, temperature monitors, etc. Ministry to publish detailed SoPs.
- Uganda-style weddings that bring together the pentagon of groups will be postponed for 32 days from today. If couples in a hurry, do a scientific wedding with core members. Not more than 10 people.
- Funerals. Burials won’t be banned but recommend should be done by relatives who are nearby. Mourning is done later. If the deceased died of Coronavirus, State will take over burial.
- Farmers. Crop people, cattle keepers, and fishermen. These should observe proper hygiene practices. Fishermen should be studied closely because they live in concentrated landing sites.
Monthly (open-air) markets suspended for 32 days.
- Public transport. Taxis, bodas, buses, etc. Advice: Don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary. Also, transport operators are given mandatory SoPs. In the event of an outbreak in a given locality, public transport will be suspended.
- Stop merrymaking, discos, bars, music shows, and concerts. Drunkards speak with saliva coming out of their mouths. Suspended for 32 days.
- Hygiene. The virus spreads by sneezing, coughing. Observe hygiene. Close your mouth, etc. Stop touching surfaces, wash your hands, don’t shake hands, hugging, etc. do online transactions.
- Diet. Do a balanced diet. Eat vitamin C, oranges, lemons, etc.