Uganda Suspends Use of Public Transport to Slow Spread of Coronavirus


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Uganda has in its latest effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 suspended the use of all public means of transport including boda bodas, buses, and train, for 14 days.

President Yoweri Museveni said in his latest address to the nation on Wednesday that the move is aimed at “causing people to postpone their unsafe journeys”.

Only passengers moving in private vehicles will be allowed, but even then the limit as been set – a maximum of 3 people including the driver.

Museveni said the cargo trucks will continue moving, especially those delivering food and other essential commodities.

“This crisis will teach us other methods of doing business without too much human movement using shared means of transport. The boda bodas can start moving things from one place to another. This is really about reorientation in the mode of doing business without exposure,” he said.

“Once we deal with transport, the other remaining big problem is the markets which bring together many people. We said that in order to avoid this problem (virus) you should be 4 meters from one another. In markets how do we maintain this?”

As such, government has also suspended the sale of non-food commodities in markets. Museveni said that only those trading in food stuffs will be permitted.

“This will reduce numbers to allow social distance,” the President said.

He also asked Government Ministries and Agencies to quickly work out plans on which critical staff will continue working so that the non-essential staff is suspended.

On Wednesday, the number of cases that tested positive of COVID -19 rose to 14, some of the new cases being from the countryside. The President now says that this calls for a more efficient mode of transportation to facilitate response at the district level

He directed that all government vehicles in the respective districts be centralized at the district headquarters. They will be coordinated by the District Health Officers (DHOs) to facilitate the movement to remote areas. He said resources for fuel will be mobilized. 

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