Museveni extends coronavirus lockdown by 14 days

Coronavirus outbreak

President Museveni has announced an extension of the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus for 14 days.

The 21-day lockdown and ban on mass gatherings that also saw the closure of most non- food shops and businesses across the country was imposed on April, and was scheduled to expire on Tuesday, May 5.

“All the other measures announced earlier will stay in place for another 14 days. Remember we can defeat the virus if we act correctly,”Museveni said.

Among a few exceptions to the lockdown extension, Museveni said whole sale shops, hardware shops, repair workshops, garages allowed, metal and wood workshops, lawyers, warehouses and  restaurants (allowed to do takeaways) will reopen after Tuesday.

Makes case for extension

 Making a case for the lockdown, the president said that in absence of a vaccine and definite treatment, the drastic measure was meant for the country to understand problem better but also prepare better.

He noted that the country has made great strides in prevention of the spread of the virus in the last 45 days of the lockdown.

“What is now available is prevention by avoiding infection and treatment in hospitals provided numbers are not too many. The last 45 days have given us time to be better prepared in terms of prevention,” he said.

The president noted that because of the lockdown and understanding of Ugandans the country has avoided seeing coffins on streets as seen in other countries.

He however noted there is need to be cautious by extending the lockdown.

“We must therefore basing ourselves on the limited preparations start slowly and carefully to open up without undoing our achievements. We shall suffer but not collapse .We should start with measures to consolidate our earlier achievements.”


Several people had started self-lifting of the lockdown as boda boda riders were seen carrying passengers to the city centre whereas several vehicles without stickers had also hit the road.

The president however, noted it is not yet wise to allow both private and public transport means because it would be a fertile ground for the spread of the virus.

“We have not thought it wise to allow public or private transport to operate.”


Museveni noted that it is still premature to allow schools resume since these are concentration points that would encourage the spread of the virus.

“We thought about the other groups but we said it is premature. I don’t want my grandchildren to go back to schools yet. I don’t want sick grandchildren. It is very complicated. How will they travel from home to school?  The whole thing will be clogged up. If all these people are sitting together in mini buses and buses, what would be the outcome? Many of our dormitories are overcrowded. They will have to wait.”

The president said that it is going to be mandatory for everyone not in their house to wear a face mask to avoid the spread of the virus.

“The virus rides on droplets and invisible tiny mucus particles that come out of people that it can only be prevented by wearing masks,” he said.

“With these limited measures, we should maintain other measures of social distancing, sanitizing surfaces, eating fruits , washing fingers, taking vitamins, when you have a fever contact nearest health unit by phone among others.”

Mass testing

Last week, government kicked off a mass testing exercise targeting 20,000 people throughout the country.

Termed as the Rapid Assessment Survey, the exercise is aimed at assessing the prevalence of the deadly virus among Ugandan communities and is targeting truck drivers and communities along their routes, border crossings and their communities, health workers.

The mass testing is also targeting market vendors, weigh bridge areas and communities around, religious leaders, roads law enforcement officers including Police, LDUs, the army, police and prison cells, teachers from selected schools( both day and boarding), taxi drivers and fishing communities.

The exercise has since seen a 29 year old police officer test positive in Masindi and over 100 officers have since been quarantined.

Mueveni said that the exercise has seen 601 people so far tested.

Cargo trucks

Newly  imported infections by inter-state cargo drivers from the neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania have been increasing  in the past few weeks.

This state of affairs has created apprehension among Ugandans, calling on government to ban the entry into the country truck drivers.

The president however insisted that he cannot ban entry of cargo trucks into the country because of the virus but noted there are measures put in place to deal with the problem.

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