COVID-19: Row between police and traders in Uganda as cases rise to 18


    The number of coronavirus cases in Uganda has risen to 18 as announced by President Museveni on Friday. Before Friday’s announcement, Uganda had 14 confirmed cases which included 2 Chinese nationals and 12 Ugandans.

    According to the president, the 4 people who tested positive had been under institutional quarantine in the various hotels identified by the sub-committee on quarantine.
    “Yesterday, the 26th of March, another 197 people were tested and many of them were returnees from Dubai or other category one countries, only four tested positive. These four had been under institutional quarantine in the various hotels identified by the sub-committee on quarantine,” said the President in a message posted on his social platforms. The president added that the victims had been evacuated to Mulago National Referral Hospital for treatment.

    “It seems, therefore, that the efforts of identifying by the temperature monitoring at the airport, quarantining the people on whom there’s some suspicion and tracing the ones who escaped from the quarantine is working well,” he said.

    About the 14 patients who were already hospitalized at Entebbe, Mulago and Masaka, the president said that they are responding well to the treatment and seem to be improving.

    Police foil traders in Kampala over Coronavirus

    Meanwhile there has been a scuffle in the capital Kampala between traders and the Police over the presidential directives that were issued to control the spread of coronavirus in the country. On Thursday the police arrested several traders across the city while others were beaten up for opening their shops which the police interpreted as disobeying the presidential directive. However, traders claim that the president did not order closure of businesses especially those in arcades though the police insist that most of the businesses attract a huge gathering of people which is against the presidential directive.

    On Wednesday the President Museveni issued some additional measures to guide the public after it was announced that Uganda’s confirmed Coronavirus had increased to 14. Among the new measures, the president ordered the closure of public transport including cyclists who carry passengers, open markets apart from those who sell food stuffs in such markets and limiting the number of workers in public offices. This was the president’s fifth public address in a period of one week in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

    Following the new presidential directives, the following day on Thursday, the police started arresting several people especially those found on motorcycles and those who had gathered in several trading centers.
    Following the chaos, the Minister for trade Hon. Amelia Kyambadde came out to give some clarity on presidential orders regarding traders. She said that the Police should stop beating up traders but rather guide them on how to observe and follow the presidential directives. The minister added that the president did not stop vendors who operate in arcades running business like salon, restaurants and selling other merchandise. However, she called upon traders to avoid having a crowd around their businesses and advised that people should avoid crowding in one area as much as possible to control the spread of Coronavirus.

    Still on Thursday, two men who were traveling from Seeta to Namugongo on a motorcycle were shot by police officers for disobeying presidential directives. The two victims are currently admitted at Mukono General Hospital.