President Museveni has banned the use of all public transport means all over the country for a period of two weeks to help combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
In his address to the nation, Museveni said the ban is to ensure people are safe.
“This means all taxis, mini buses, buses, passenger trains, tuk tuks and boda bodas have been suspended for 14 days because we want to minimize movement of people,”Museveni said.
“The only means will be private vehicles but they should not carry more than 3 people including the driver. “
Museveni cited an example of the man who traveled from Kisumu back to Uganda and ended up infecting his eight months baby with coronavirus in Iganga noting that if it had not been public means that he used, he would not have travelled to infect the young one.
“This is meant to ensure people postpone their unsafe journeys.”
He noted that private means of transport are allowed to move but noted that there should not be more than three occupants including the driver.
“Even a private vehicle packed with family members is not allowed. Those moving to villages for functions like Easter should wait until we get out of this danger,”the president said.
The president however noted that ambulances for the Health Ministry, vehicles for security forces, some of the government vehicles doing essential work, vehicles for sanitary services like those dealing in garbage will be exempted from the suspension.
Museveni said that vehicles carrying cargo will be allowed to move.
The president also banned the sale of items other than food stuffs in markets all over the country as another measure to decongest the facilities.
He noted that despite measures by authorities in the markets to avoid the spread of coronavirus, there was need to control the big numbers that storm the facilities.
“Markets should be for only selling food stuffs like matooke, sweet potatoes, cassava, rice and beans among others. Therefore trading in the markets other non- food items is suspended. We want to create space and we think this measure will help reduce numbers by removing non- food items.”
Museveni’s new measures came after a special cabinet session on Wednesday that advised the president on what to do so as to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The development comes only hours after the Health Ministry announced five new coronavirus cases to make it 14 people who have tested positive of the pandemic.
While addressing the media on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services announced the victims also included an 8 month old baby who presented with symptoms in Iganga.
“The baby’s father had traveled from Kisumu, Kenya. The baby presented with flu and difficulty in breathing. Seeing the signs, health workers took samples and sent them to the Uganda Virus Institute which tested positive,” Dr Mwebesa said.
Dr. Mwebesa however noted that the baby has been isolated and was reacting well to treatment.
He also announced that one of the new five cases is a 63 year old Ugandan who traveled from Germany.
“The second is a 57 year old Ugandan male in Adjumani and he is currently isolated in Adjumani general hospital.”
Dr. Mwebesa said that the case in Adjumani had not traveled abroad but would once in a while cross the border point at South Sudan to sell salt.
The Health Ministry also revealed that two of the six Chinese nationals who were arrested from Zombo after escaping quarantine in Kampala had tested positive.