President Museveni to give new Guidelines on Truck Drivers on Tuesday
President Yoweri Museveni will on Tuesday next week speak to the nation about the measures being taken to deal with truck drivers who are testing positive to COVID-19.
The president was this morning flagging off vehicles donated by individuals and companies in the fight against COVID-19 in Uganda.
During his many national addresses since the outbreak, the president has continuously asked for vehicles to be used by Ministry of health to fight the pandemic. Uganda has 74 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 11 of these confirmed on Thursday.
According to the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Mary Karooro Okurut, some of the vehicles were driven to Kololo airstrip where the event took place this morning, while others were still in different bonds.
The vehicles were received from companies, countries and individuals like; the government of India – two ambulances already in the field, People’s Republic of China – two ambulances already in the field, Bidco (U)ltd – one brand new double cabin, Sino (U) Industrial park Mbale – 2 Jeep wagons, Dott Services – 1 Double Cabin, and Riham – One Ambulance among others.
In his speech, President Museveni said that they have developed an idea of testing drivers before they start the journey from their home countries.
Ugandans need the cargo that is being brought into the country by the truck drivers. “We need the cargo, we need the goods to come in and go out. Our coffee must go out, but at the same time we don’t want the disease. So there is this idea of testing before the driver comes. He waits until the results, then he comes” the president said.
According to Mr. Museveni, they had not considered the idea, but waiting at the border makes vehicles line up causing congestion.
“We had thought that the sample can be taken and the driver continues, and he only stops at some designated places and when the results come, he is called to stop where he is if he is positive and then health people will find him there and deal with him. But this was on one condition; driver oyo takukwatako nawe tomukwatako” he warned.
The president says he did not think truck drivers would not be a problem as they would come and stop at designated places, but this proved futile since they remained in contact with their friends. He said this could have worked but the fellows have failed to maintain it.
He says they drivers can also change crews when they get to the border points. Says that when a crew comes from Kenya, the vehicle is sprayed at the border and another crew takes over to drive into Uganda, up to the Congo border, where the same will be done until the vehicle returns home.
Pre-empting his upcoming speech slated for Tuesday next week, Museveni says the only answer is a vaccine, but that may take some months. The president said he was proud of Ugandans for listening to his advice.
I am very glad with the response of Ugandans, they have listened to the advice. You cannot go in the villages and hide yourself, those in towns, copy the examples of the villages” he said.
He also warned groups of people who are interfering with the work of health workers, pointing out the confused characters in Acholi who blocked an ambulance carrying a driver who had tested positive and later found in Kamdini.
“Entebbe hospital is my neighbor, it is just behind my fence and all virus cases are brought there, you have not heard me say don’t bring them here because I will die. Idiots, we are tired of idiots” he angrily said.