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Uganda To Suspend Public Transport If Cases of COVID-19 Increase

The President also disclosed that the Ministry of Health has set up about 100 testing centers for COVID-19.

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President Yoweri Museveni.

Government of Uganda has announced that public transport in the country may suspended, should the cases of COVID-19 increase.

According to President Yoweri Museveni, the only biggest risk in the probable spread of the novel Coronavirus is the use of public transport.

“We are still monitoring, but if the problem increases, we will suspend public transport, especially in towns,” said the President.

He was giving an address to nation following the eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. All the eight new cases are Ugandan nationals who returned from Dubai on March 20 and March 22 aboard Emirates and Ethiopian airlines flights.

The president revealed that he is in talks with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, about how to re-invent the bicycle factory at Namanve industrial park, in order to save citizens from congestion.

Taxis at Old Taxi Park- Kamapala

On the question of long-distance-movement within the country, the President did not talk much about it but left the question of thought hanging.

“Of course, there is no way somebody can ride a bicycle from Lira to Kampala, but we may also have to suspend inter-city long distance.

The President reminded citizens to maintain three key points of vigilance against the virus.

The first point is that, people should not allow those coughing or sneezing-out next to them.

“Even when we are still using public transport, the owners of those vehicles should not allow anybody who is sneezing or coughing into the car,” stated the President.

The second key point is that, people should make hand washing with soap the first thought in their mind. This point however, has registered mixed reactions from the publics before, with most traders rising the fee of hand sanitizers beyond affordable price.

“On the issue of sanitizers, there are people who crooks who are hiking prices for the sanitizers. You do not need those sanitizers. All you need is soap. Soap reacts with the fats on our skin. These viruses also have fats in their skin. So, the soap can kill the virus,” advised the President.

The President also pledged to have talks with National Water and Sewerage Corporation and arrive at a means of reducing prices for piped water.

The third point according to the President, is that people should avoid touching soft parts of the body (mouth, eyes and nose) because according health experts, the Coronavirus enters the body only through the soft parts of the body.

“If you observe those three, the virus will die. It is the carelessness of those three that someone can easily get infected,” explained the President.

Furthermore, the President has also warned the local traders who are unnecessarily hiking food prices in the market, saying he will confiscate trading license for anybody caught doing so.

“If I find anybody hiking the prices of food, I will cancel their trading license. We produce food here, why would you raise the price?” asked the President.

According to Museveni, the State will send spies in disguise of customers in the market and if any trader is caught red handed, s/he faces his or her fate with immediate effect.

100 Testing Centers In The Country

The President also disclosed that the Ministry of Health has set up about 100 testing centers for COVID-19. This was in response to concerns from different people that Uganda has only one testing centre at Entebbe.

“I asked the Minister and she has told me that we have about 100 testing centers across the Country. For example, in Teso sub region alone, we have about five testing centers,” said the president.

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng yesterday confirmed eight new cases of COVID-19. All the eight new cases are Ugandan nationals who returned from Dubai on March 20 and March 22 aboard Emirates and Ethiopian airlines flights.

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Noah Omuya

Noah Omuya is the founder and CEO of Aica Communications LTD, a Company that currently runs an online news publication (www.aica.co.ug) with a plan of beginning to print Magazines and a newspaper in Ateso language in 2020. He is a Media challenge Fellow- class of 2019 and he has specialized training in writing, strategic and multimedia communication, mainstream and online journalism from the Media challenge fellowship and Kampala International University, where he pursued his Bachelors of Mass Communication. At the age of 18, Omuya was a train-on-job employee with Joshua 93.5 FM where he acquired a three years’ demonstrable experience in broadcast media, content development, public relations and, marketing and promotions strategies for private businesses, public entities and non-profit organizations, as well as engaging with traditional media. He scooped a Media Challenge award for the best feature essay writer of the year 2018. He was also first runner up for the refugee broadcast story of the year, and second runner up for radio feature story teller. The Media Challenge Award qualified him to be part of the Media Challenge Fellowship, where he has got intensive training in solutions journalism, political reporting, investigative reporting, youth participatory radio, multimedia journalism, and data journalism. At the fellowship, he has been trained by international celebrated journalists from BBC, CNN, Reuters, AFP, NBS Tv, UBC Tv, NTV, New Vision, Daily Monitor among other recognized institutes. He also has hands-on experience in research, in different private organizations in Uganda; experience in media relations with regular assignments in field reporting, marketing and public relations.

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