July 22: Museveni further relaxes restrictions
President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening delivered his 19th address on the COVID-19 situation and related matters. He touched on a raft of issues – lifting and easing restrictions in part and maintaining them on other issues.
“Our health workers have spent 4 months in the hospitals [some] without going home, they risk their lives to look after / treat people. When we are begging you to be careful it is also that we protect these selfless people,” the president said.
A key part of the address that has social media buzzing is the president’s reference to how scientific the latest decisions are. The president underlined the importance of scientific work and said it was why scientists needed to be paid well.
“We shall not accept anything that threatens life. That is why I involve our scientists in everything I do. We are fortunate to have good scientists. If you attack our scientists, I can tell you to go to hell,” he said.
He also reported to have said scientists will be involved in processes leading to reopening of places of worship. For people reacting on social media, they want to know who exactly are the president’s scientists.
The key takeaways included:
- Reopen of some arcades / shopping centers provided they fulfil the following: have temperature monitors, ensure social distancing, hand washing, no traders in the corridors, verandas & roadsides.
- Salons to be allowed to operate [with immediate effect] on condition that they ensure all [customers] wear face masks and operators wear face shields.
- Public service motorcycles a.k.a boda bodas to begin operations effective 27th July 2020. They must register passengers, wear masks plus helmets, ensure passengers wear mask and operations end at 6pm.
- The international airport, schools, places of worship will remain closed.
- The president also reduced night-time curfew by two hours – it will now start at 9:00pm to 5:30 am.
On the closure of airspace to passenger traffic, the president said the measure will be in place “until the situation abroad settles down because there is so much chaos in foreign countries. I know we are losing a lot of money, but life is better than wealth,” the president stressed.
- Confirmed cases = 1,072
- Active cases = 114
- Recoveries = 958
- Number of deaths = 0
John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of July 21, 2020
— NBS Television (@nbstv) July 21, 2020
July 10: Cases pass 1,000 mark
Uganda’s virus cases reached 1,000 as of July 9. The updated tally this morning indicated that six new cases had taken the caseload to 1,006 cases.
Total recoveries stand at 938, one of the highest relative to number of cases. There is no death recorded till date. The total number of tests so far is 221,675, a Ministry of Health press release confirmed.
The country is among the least impacted in the East, Horn of Africa region where the likes of Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti have recorded figures between 10,000 and 2,000 cases.
Sudan = 10,158
Kenya = 8,975
Ethiopia = 6,973
Djibouti = 4,955
Somalia = 3,038
South Sudan = 2,021
John Hopkins University statistics valid as of July 9
? New cases 6
? Total cases 1,006
? New recoveries 30
? Total Recoveries 938
? New samples 2,048
? Total tested 221,675*
N̳e̳w̳ ̳c̳a̳s̳e̳s̳: 2 truckers and 4 contacts from Malaba, Busia, Amuru, Kyotera pic.twitter.com/1pSpjvUrdi
— The Observer (@observerug) July 10, 2020
June 28: Uganda repatriating ‘distressed’ citizens globally
Uganda is receiving hundreds of nationals via repatriation flights with the latest being arrivals from Afghanistan, South Sudan and Ethiopia, local news outlet, the Monitor reported.
Most of the 137 Afghan returnees were private security guards who Saturday evening aboard Egypt Air. Other arrivals at the Entebbe International Airport included 72 humanitarian workers and diplomats from Juba, South Sudan and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They arrived aboard Ethiopian Airlines.
A Health Ministry official confirmed that all 207 people were transported to various quarantine centres, all private hotels. Uganda is also expecting repatriations from South Africa, the US, United Arab Emirates and India.
Meanwhile a report that nationals living in China had refused to return home continue to stoke reactions which are disputing widely reported claims made by the foreign affairs minister last week.
Minister Henry Okello Oryem told Daily Monitor newspaper that many Ugandans in China had resumed work after their government intervened following reports of mistreatment.
The ministry in a press statement termed the protests by Africans living in China against mistreatment there as having been a result of “miscommunication among local authorities about how to handle foreign nationals as they control the spread of coronavirus”.
Total confirmed cases = 859
Total recoveries = 794
Total deaths = 0
Active cases = 65
Figures valid as of close of day June 27, 2020
Uganda’s president on Monday expressed his frustration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), saying they are not gods and should be modest as they set out guidelines to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Museveni, who was addressing the country on the latest government efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic specifically took issue with WHO’s protocols on the tally of confirmed cases in Uganda.
“While I am not like Trump who is fighting the World Health Organisation, I think it should be modest. We cannot be responsible for people that got infected from another country,” Museveni said.
Museveni in May this year directed the country’s health ministry to deduct from the country’s tally, all positive tests from neighbouring countries. WHO on the other hand insists that such cases should be recorded and treated in the territory or country where they are detected.
“Following a Presidential Directive of deducting all foreign truck drivers from Uganda’s case count,” the ministry said at the time.
Uganda has sent back at least 167 nationals of neighbouring countries who tested positive in Uganda, and Museveni advised WHO to interest itself in Africa’s cultural context where hosts have a right to welcome or reject visitors.
By the time the president addressed the nation, Uganda had 774 confirmed cases, of which Museveni pointed out that nearly half (373) are truck drivers transporting good across the East African region.
The president also congratulated Ugandans and specifically the doctors on working tirelessly to keep the Covid-19 losses at a minimum. The country has not recorded any coronavirus deaths and registered 631 recoveries.