Boda Boda Riders cry foul as President extends ban on carrying passengers
Ugandans shall continue to observe the 7pm (just before darkness) and end at 6.30am (just at the beginning of daylight) curfew until the President says otherwise.
This follows President Museveni’s national address on Monday evening, where he explained that the aim of the curfew was primarily to act as an enforcement tool to prevent high risk nocturnal activities/establishments like Bars, Nightclubs, among others, from conducting business and to deter crime under the cover of darkness.
He noted that pushing forward the curfew time from 7pm to 8pm, triggers delayed closure of other sectors like shops, supermarkets, public transport and gives opportunity of engaging in crime which strains law enforcement.
iological point of view, the curfew acts as a measure to restrict activities that depend on convergence of people from taking place, hence reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. The idea is to discourage gatherings in homes, hotels, restaurants, etc. Going home early and staying home the whole night is part of the prevention. It means less mixing. The curfew time is, therefore, strategic to reduce risk of spread and preempt crime” the President said.
Meanwhile, the President did not buy into the new innovation of introducing the barrier between a rider and passenger on boda bodas. He however, applauded the idea, but quickly explained that there is need to review the risks and provide further guidance through SOPs.
He promised that the innovations will be reviewed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the ministry for transport and the Boda Bodas Association.
“In the interim, they should continue with only the transportation of goods” he directed.
The president has also allowed owners of private vehicles to carry 4 people, including the driver. Since partial lifting of the lockdown on June 4th, only 3 people were allowed in a private vehicle, including the driver.
The President however insists on the requirement for masks for all vehicle occupants which he says should be maintained, preferably with natural ventilation and no AC.
The restriction on religious gatherings is also to be maintained and reevaluated in the last phase of lifting of restrictions.
The National Task Force has been asked to direct the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade, and KCCA to engage with the arcade owners to identify potential arcades to pilot prevention procedures.
“KCCA, MOH, and Ministry of Trade should also review and enhance prevention compliance within the open shopping centers particularly Kikuubo and other downtown centers” he noted.
Also, the restrictions on salons remain in place with the President arguing that salons have been documented to spread infections in other countries e.g. Ebola in West Africa, COVID-19 in the US, among others.
He said the National Task Force should direct the ministries of Health and Trade to engage with the salon owners to explore options for safety and training.
Border districts shall open except Rakai, Kyotera, Amuru, Buikwe, Gulu, Arua, Adjumani, Moyo, and Nebi which still have many infections. Also, districts with refugees like Zombo, Adjumani and Arua should allow time to test the refugees and a risk profiling before the final decision is made.
Busia and Bulisa Districts shall remain under lockdown because they are with main border entry points that still need more comprehensive surveillance and testing as well as water bodies and informal crossings across water bodies.
Schools will also remain under lock until such a time when the President shall say otherwise.