President Yoweri Museveni has announced a new lockdown starting 10:00PM tonight 18th June 2021, for 42 days.
While addressing the country this evening, Mr. Museveni said that the movement of individuals fuels virus transmission, and should be limited.
He directed that across the country, the Resident District Commissioners working with the Chief Administrative Officers and their District Health Officers should make all the necessary arrangements to ensure all individuals that require medical care and medical evacuation in their respective districts, COVID-19 or otherwise are taken care of.
The president however allowed registered tourists’ vehicles to continue moving since the airport shall remain open for tourists coming from countries where vaccination has been fully done. He however says these should move directly to their destinations and designated places.
Also, emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers’ vehicles will be allowed to move.
“I have defined the ESSENTIAL SECTORS and where there is need for additional clarity, The Rt Hon Prime Minister will study such and communicate accordingly. Among the Essential Health workers include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, veterinary doctors, and other essential health staff. Details of other essential sectors will be worked out by the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister and her team. The essential workers will be given specific identifications” the president said.
The president noted thatsome sections of the public are not adhering to the curfew hours (2100 Hrs to 0530 Hrs). He has therefore directed that the curfew time throughout the country is pulled back to 1900Hrs to 0530 Hrs. All human beings except security and those authorized to move should be at their homes.
Boda-Bodas will only be allowed to move up to 1700Hrs.
3. Educational Institutions:
All schools and institutions of learning remain closed for 42 days
The Ministry of Health to reactivate Village Health Teams (VHTs) under the Community Engagement Strategy (CES) to strengthen sensitization of the communities.
The Ministry of Local Government is hereby directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs) to be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of all SOPs.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs)should be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of the existing SOPs.
4. International and Cross-Border Travels:
Entebbe International Airport will remain open, but we shall ensure the no virus, or new variants enter Uganda. Uganda’s land locked country. All cargo movements, to and out of Uganda will be allowed without any disruption.
Cargo truck drivers at land-border crossings will be tested allowed to move and be followed up at the designated Seclusion Areas and holding places for Cargo trucks.
The Ministry of Works and Transport is hereby directed to reactivate the operations of Seclusion Areas for Cargo trucks.
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) to monitor compliance of particularly the private cars allowed to cross the borders to ensure total observance of the SoPs and guidelines.
Non-cargo cross-border movement, except for licensed tourist vehicles is hereby suspended for the next 42 days.
Non-agricultural activities and markets:
Efforts have been made to bring on board different actors including Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport (MoW&T) among others. However, the surge of crowds has not sufficiently subsided despite the effort to enforce social distancing and the use face masks. This might not take away the danger of spreading COVID-19 as envisaged.
Food Market Venders should revert to the Presidential Directive of March 2020 to stay in their places of work.
Kikuubo and other Business Centres should be closed, and the situation reverts to the Presidential Directive of March 2020.
6. Burials: Whereas the compliance on this has been low, the high-risk factor assessed is the pressure of people seeking permission to go and attend burials from place to place. This poses the highest danger of spreading the virus and breaches of the strategy.
Burials to be restricted to the core family as applied in the military.
The Committee I put in place during my last address – led by Major General Rusoke and Dr. Musenero should ensure the institution of a well-coordinated mechanism which enables a few family members to transport dead bodied for burial. RDC and DPC should ensure that all SOPs are observed and not more than 20 people attend burial. And avoid gatherings and visits to the deceased family after burials which will promote spread of the virus.
7. Bars, Discos, Sports Betting, and Cinema Halls: Despite the directive, the bar owners and clients have not fully adhered.
KCCA, URA and Local Government authorities are directed to close and seal off all the bars. Police should accordingly arrest and charge with hefty fines imposed for reopening.
It serves no purpose arresting the revelers while allowing the owners to reopen the following morning.
All other sectors which are not specifically mentioned should consider themselves closed for the next 42 days.
Institutions and Organizations:
Although most offices have complied with the 30% physical presence at the workplace, the directive ought to be reviewed. Current information so far obtained indicates that despite this scale down, infection rates in this area are very high. I have thus revised this.
Further reduction to 10% in Non-core Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Rt Hon Prime Minister working with the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Health will re-define the Non-Core MDA
Factories and construction sites:
Whereas this directive is being adhered to, it remains tricky because in some areas, workers have to cross different districts to reach their places of aboard. Therefore, a well-intended plan could yield less because of circumstances.
Where possible, the workers MUST be housed at places of work for the next 42 days. I encourage factory owners to work with the Ministry of Health to ensure only uninfected workers enter the camps.
Where camping is not possible, the factory owners should work together with the Technical Committee to agree on a safe alternative to enable factory activities to continue safely during the lock down period.
- Places of worship: The churches, mosques, and sports sessions are congregating settings and are a source that fuels rapid virus transmission.
All places of worship and sports events remain suspended for 42 days.
- The Monitoring of the compliance and adherence to these directives:
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), working together with the Technical Intersectoral Committee under Maj Gen Robert Rusoke are directed to closely monitor the compliance and enforcement of these directives.
Except where specifically stated, all these measures take IMMEDIATE effect and will last 42 days when I will make subsequent revision.
For our lives to continue, the following sectors fully function: (a) agriculture, (b) industry, manufacturing and tourism, (c) health and medical services, (d) security (police and army), (e) utilities (water, electricity, mass media, telecoms, banking institutions, garbage/waste management, retail shops and markets), (f) cargo transport and goods distribution. I have thus categorized these sectors as essential sectors.
At this critical moment, I wish to call upon all the leadership structures throughout the country. Every village has community health workers known as Village health teams (VHTs) who are in touch with families and keep records on the health status of the villages. For example they know how many people are in the village, how many are pregnant, how many children etc. These VHTs should now be leveraged to increase population awareness, support for SOPs and affected households.
The district based governance structures are all in place with salaried staff and should take charge of the situation and support awareness creation and enforcement.
The Ministry of Local Government has undertaken mobilization of these leaders and they are fully aware of their roles in the COVID-19 response. All district Covid -19 Task forces are hereby called upon to awaken the national wide response system up to the community level.