Govt Suspends Public Transport to Contain Coronavirus
Government has suspended public transport for the next 14 days, as one of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement by President Yoweri Museveni last evening comes a few hours after the Ministry of Health confirmed an increase in the number of people who have tested positive to COVID-19 to 14.
Museveni also banned the sale of nonfood items during this time, in order to ensure that movement of people is limited. He says only persons dealing in food items will be left to operate.
According to President Museveni, public transports include buses, commuter taxis and boda boda taxi operators. He said the only other vehicles allowed to move are ambulances, vehicles of security agencies, some institution’s vehicles and vehicles for sanitary services.
The President also said private transport means should not carry more than three people including the driver. He also directed that the sitting arrangement of the market vendors be rearranged to a distance of at least 4meters from each other.
The other directives were that all government vehicles to pool together at the district health department offices for emergencies, adding that only crucial public officers be retained to continue working at this crucial moment.
According to the president each ministry and government department should work out a plan of the essential staff that need to remain on duty.
Meanwhile, female health worker at St Joseph’s hospital Kitgum in Kitgum municipality has been isolated and under close monitoring after presenting symptoms similar to the deadly coronavirus disease [covid-19].
Reports obtained by Mega Fm indicate that the medic developed a severe fever on Tuesday after reaching her duty station. She had reportedly just returned a day from official duty in Kampala, sources from the hospital revealed.
Dr Pamela Akot, the Medical Director St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum confirmed the development in an interview on Wednesday.
At least three other people are currently undergoing self-quarantine in Kitgum municipality after returning from the UK and Kenya recently.
240 Uganda Police Force- UPF, Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF have since been assigned to work with the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
Meanwhile, Police in Aswa River Region has said the directive by the police leadership to release all suspects with minor offences as part of the strategies to minimize overcrowding in police cells that poses a health risk to inmates in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19 shall not affect the fight against the notorious street gangs.
For last two years police in Aswa River Region have been grappling with the growing cases of street gangs beating and snatching people’s properties.
Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region police spokesperson said street gangs still remain a big threat to the community and the fight is still on.
On Wednesday last week the President issued 14 guidelines that included closure of education institutions, banning of gatherings in worship places, crowding in bars, discos and clubs among others in the fight against the spread of COVID -19.
On Tuesday, two young men arrested for breaking into Bwobo Primary school in Omoro district were later released because of a current directive instructing police to give police bond to petty criminals.
The suspects, Joseph Openy 18 and Justine Opiyo 20- all residents of Alokolum Village in Ongako Sub county reportedly stole a Mowing machine, three turkeys and school utensils from the Bwobo Primary School which is also located in Ongako Sub County.
William Ocitti, the L.C111 Chairperson Ongako sub county said the suspects were handed over to Ongako police station adding that all the stolen items were recovered but that the two turkeys had already been slaughtered.
In a similar development, unknown thugs in Paibona Parish, Awach Sub County in Gulu District are taking advantage of the corona virus outbreak to break into local eating joints and bars in search of food and alcohol.
Authorities there say that at least eight eating joints including a pork joint at Paibona trading centre have been broken into in the last three days.
Richard Watmon, the Local council three chairperson Paibona parishe said the thieves break into people’s the eating joints at night and eat whatever food they find left on fire.
He said two bars have also been broken into by the thugs who drink all the alcohol they find. Watmon said that due to the high food prices, the thugs have resorted to breaking into food joints considering that many people close early because eof the corona virus outbreak.
He however said that they have informed all the vigilantes to conduct operations at night, arrest and fine 50,000 shillings to those found moving past 8:00pm.
Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson recently said they have instructed local leaders to handle petty crime to reduce overcrowding at police facilities.
Uganda currently has nine confirmed cases of Corona Virus and isolation centers have been established in almost every district to handle any new cases.
Meanwhile, St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu has put in place a tent to serve as an alternative outpatient in a bid to prevent the spread of Corona Virus.
At least 14 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Uganda, all are cases of Ugandan nationals who travelled back from abroad.
Anying Josephine, the Communication Officer St Mary’s Hospital Lacor told Mega FM that the creation of the outpatient tent was basically to help decongest patients.
Anying explained that St Mary’s hospital Lacor outpatient receives on average of 600 clients on a daily basis.