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JUST IN: Museveni bans public and private transport as covid cases surge

STATE HOUSE: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has announced a ban on public and private vehicles in a move to curb the escalating cases of coronavirus.

In the ongoing presidential address, the President disclosed that effective tomorrow June 19, all boda bodas, taxis, special hire, and private vehicles are banned from travel anywhere with immediate effect.

Government recently banned public transport between districts but according to the president it has been observed that taxis and boda bodas drop passengers at the district boundaries in a relay system to be taken by colleagues waiting across the boundary but in turn has led to further spread of the virus.

“Additionally, it has also been observed that despite this directive, human beings walk across district boundaries. This therefore has not achieved its intended purpose,” Museveni said.

He noted that the movement of individuals fuels the virus transmission and without limiting the movement of persons ,there will be more infections.

“The virus doesn’t transport itself but transported by human beings. The virus is not the problem but human beings and their conduct. Therefore, all transport is suspended for 42 days starting today. No movement of public transport, car, boda boda and private boda bodas,”Museveni said.

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“This needs to be stopped since and is the cornerstone of the current exponential transmission drive. Only registered tourists’ vehicles will be allowed to move. These should move directly to their destinations and designated places. Emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers vehicles will be allowed to move.”

Museveni directed the Joint Intelligence Committee to monitor compliance of particularly the private cars allowed to cross the borders to ensure total observance of the SOPs and guidelines.

The directives , according to Museveni come in effect starting tonight but directed RDCs to work with CAOs and District Health Officers to make arrangements to ensure all individuals that require medical care and evacuation in their respective districts are taken care off.

The president said the current trend of the virus has seen infections increase by 17 folds and hence the need to be curtailed.

“Over the past three weeks, the daily number of people testing positive for Corona has increased from less than 100 to now over 1,700. This represents a 17 fold increase in daily cases. As a result our epidemic curve is now on steep rise with increased reports of deaths nationwide,” he said.

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According to Museveni, the country is currently experiencing a very high hospitalization rate and deaths for Covid patients among all age categories that he said need to be brought down.

“The strategy is to prevent these infections so that we have few infected people if at all. The situation can be managed by minimizing the number of infections and give urgent care for the severely ill,” Museveni said.

He insisted there is need to protect the health system more by putting in place robust measures .

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