Ugandan president imposes lockdown to contain spread of coronavirus

MADRID, March 31 (European press) –

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has announced a population closure, a ban on the use of vehicles and the closure of all stores not selling food for fourteen days in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In an address to the nation, Museveni revealed a set of measures that have been added to those already announced that will come into effect on April 1.

Thus, he played a wordplay with the celebration on Wednesday of April Fools’ Day Party (Bobo, in English), and stated that “this time it will be the day of the wise.”

Museveni stated that meetings of more than five people are prohibited and confirmed that a curfew will be imposed from Tuesday from 7:00 pm (local time), when the confinement of residents will begin.

He explained that “all movements must stop. People must be inside their homes, except for those designated for transporting goods,” before adding that those who need medical care will have to seek permission from the authorities to move to the hospital.

He explained that “only food stores, those that sell agricultural and veterinary products, detergents and medicines should remain open,” before detailing that there will be a limited number of customers in supermarkets.

Museveni said food markets in the capital, Kampala and other cities will remain open, but with a distance of four meters between vendors – who won’t be able to go home for 14 days – and customers.

“They should find accommodations nearby during this period. Transportation between work and home is part of the problem,” the Ugandan president said, stressing that this would also be the case for factory workers.

He added, “The places under construction will be able to continue if they are able to accommodate their workers there for fourteen days. If not, construction will be suspended for those fourteen days.”

On the other hand, he promised the authorities to “create a fund” to “accelerate industrialization through import substitution and boost exports”.

“We have already seen how dangerous it is for Africa to be over-reliant on imports. It’s time to wake up,” he said, before adding that “new opportunities arise from this adversity.”

Finally, Museveni stressed that electricity and water companies should not cut service to those who cannot pay during this period, before adding that banks should not seize properties in response to non-payment either.

Uganda has recorded 33 cases of coronavirus so far, with no deaths, according to data provided on Tuesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), an affiliate of the African Union (AU).

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