KAMPALA – A section of the Uganda Members of Parliament have called on the government to take swift action to prevent the importantation of new Coronovirus cases into the country, after reports showed that all the new infections were from truck drivers arriving from Kenya and Tanzania.
Leading the protest was Jackson Oboth-Oboth (West Budama County North) in Tororo district who said that Ugandans at the border district are vulnerable during the Coronovirus pandemic because the truck drivers have relatives at border who they interact with, relations that aren’t debatable.
Mr. Oboth called on the government to find ways of ensuring the truck drivers do not move until their status has been confirmed.
“We are at danger from the border of Busia, Malaba, Katuna. For how long shall we wait, can’t Government find a solution to have these truck drivers come and stay at a place, test them and let them go after knowing their results? Alternatively, can’t Government install rapid testing equipment in these places . We are endangering Ugandans,” said Oboth.
In response, Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance told Parliament that measures were underway by the government to update Ugandans on the new measures to combat covid-19 at the borders by Monday.
Mr. Kasaija informed MPs that thd government is concerned about the recent developments, and says this issue involves both diplomatic consultations and business considerations
The Minister said: “There are diplomatic issues, there are business issues. I want to assure this House that by Monday, we shall be able to come out and tell the country how this matter shall be sorted out. I can’t go into details, we are yet to consult many people including across the border, but the concern of Parliament is the concern of the Executive. We need to find a solution but without necessarily killing ourselves without knowing.”
The Development comes at the time there has been increased uproar within Uganda with the public asking that truck drivers are stopped from entering into countey after the Ministry of Health yesterday announced 11 new cases all truck drivers from Tanzania and Kenya.
By the time President Yoweri Museveni announced 21-day lockdown extension on April 14, Uganda had 54 COVID19 cases and 8 recoveries, but yesterday’s announcement pushed Uganda’s cases to 74 cases and 46 recoveries with all 20 new cases attributed to foreign truck drivers.