President Yoweri Museveni has said it is still too early to think of reopening bars and concerts since the deadly virus is still with us.
Addressing the country about the current status of the Coronavirus pandemic, Museveni said whereas cases seem to have fallen to manageable levels, it doesn’t mean covid-19 is no more.
“A bar is not a place to observe SOPs. We are looking at those who are drunk. Those pushing for the opening of bars are your enemies who want you to die. When we advise you to please maintain the measures, it is because it is so far the only effective way,”Museveni said on Friday evening.
“We now have all the different variants of Covid circulating in Uganda. It is important that we maintain some of the measures that have led to the low levels of cognitive issues.”
Citing countries like the United Kingdom, South Africa and Kenya that have continued with lockdown measures, Museveni said it is only wise to keep the bars closed to avoid the transmission of the virus.
The president said in the same manner, it is not yet safe to reopen concerts since this would lead to spread of the deadly virus which is currently in its second wave.
“Bars, discos, beaches and concerts are sectors which are associated with drunkards and will remain closed. Therefore restrictions on them will remain until there is a sufficient level of vaccination in the country.”
Museveni said concerts can be organized online for the meantime as the country is still grappling with the virus.
He said reopening will only happen after 5.5 million people including those at higher risk of contracting the virus, those with underlying illnesses, and elderly have been vaccinated.
“We are looking at a figure of 5.5 million to be vaccinated before we say we are safe. While there is no timeline to this, we want to bring in five million doses to ensure completion of the dose.”
Uganda Breweries Limited recently launched a 3.6bn program to facilitate safe reopening of bars.
The beer company estimates that over 1.3 million people employed by the sector are now redundant and an estimated revenue loss of shs2.5 trillion has been occasioned across the value chain.
“Between March and May 2020, UBL sourced only 1,500 tonnes of barley from farmers out of an initial projection of 3,500 tonnes and a lot more real and unrealized revenue across our value chain,” said UBL Managing Director Alvin Mbugua earlier this month.