The President said that much as it may be a good act, some politicians are simply taking advantage of the current delicate situation to play what he termed as “cheap politics”.
He noted that this exposes people to the danger of contracting the virus since they will be crowded and mixed up in one place, which is against the measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus.
He, therefore, warned that anyone caught not adhering to that will be charged with attempted murder, because that will be endangering the lives of the people.
“I direct police to arrest people who will be distributing food to people. That is looking popularity use you're going to make people gather which is risky, you will be charged with attempted murder,” he said.
Mr Museveni, however, advised those who may want to reach out to others to instead channel the items through the task force committee headed by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
“If you really want to help, then approach the task force team which is headed by the Prime Minister and Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. Give them the things, otherwise gathering people around you to play cheap politics is not allowed,” he said
Below are President Museveni's statement while addressing the nation on Monday 30th March.
Countrymen and countrywomen
I am here, to again address you on the issue of the corona-virus. I first, addressed you on this issue on the 18th of March, 2020. Before I addressed you, together with the experts, we had discussed, in depth, the science of this virus. In that study, we had discovered the following characteristics of this virus.
1. It spreads through inhalation if somebody with the virus coughs (okukororra) or sneezes (okwetsyamura) near you ? within four metres from you. It will, then, infect you through the inhalation of the royal (vapour) of the sick person that would have coughed or sneezed.
2. The second mode of spreading is when the infected person pollutes surfaces such as tables, door handles, etc. If you touch the polluted surface and, then, touch yourself in the soft parts of the body: eyes, nose or mouth, you also get infected. The virus cannot go through the normal, intact skin of a human being. It only goes through the soft parts mentioned above.
3. Although the healthy people afflicted may survive, it can kill a lot of people that already have other medical conditions such as Aids, blood-pressure, pregnancy, diabetes, sickle-cells, cancer, the elderly, etc. In China, its kill rate was 4.05%. In Italy it's now 11.03% and Spain, its kill rate is now 8.4%. It even kills the young people in some circumstances, like the young doctor, Li Wenliang, of Wuhan in China, who first identified this problem. He was only 33 years old.
Given its spread methods ? sneezing and coughing by an inconsiderate and careless person in a cluster of people bunched together as well as an individual’s own carelessness of touching the soft parts of your body (the eyes, the nose and the mouth) without washing your hands or sanitizing them first, after careful study, we decided that this virus will spread fastest if it gets into large concentrations of people, some of whom may be behaving inconsiderately or carelessly as stated above. We, therefore, adopted the strategy of dispersing any concentration that may provide fuel to this virus.
In my address of the 18th of March, 2020, I put out 13 actions that dealt with this problem, in part, as well as other associated matters. The 13 measures were:
(1) Close all the Educational Institutions which accounted for 15 million young Ugandans;
(2) Suspend communal prayers in Mosques, Churches or in Stadia and other open-air venues;
(3) Stop all public political rallies, cultural gatherings or conferences;
(4) Banned Ugandans from moving to or through category one (I) countries that had had a large number of corona cases by that time;
(5) We allowed returning Ugandans provided they underwent mandatory quarantine, at their cost, for 14 days at a venue identified by the Ministry of Health;
(6) We allowed the non-agricultural gathering points to continue but with SOPs(Standard Operating Procedures) put out by the Ministry of Health; and these gathering points were: factories, hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi-parks, etc.;
(7) We discouraged the hexagonal, extravagant Ugandan-style weddings; if in a hurry, we encouraged the couples to go for the scientific weddings by the actual stakeholders, accompanied by a few people;
(8) Burials could not be postponed, but it should be for a few people ? the concerned homestead;
(9) With the 33 million farmers, according to the 2014 census, there was no problem because they are dispersed in their farms, plantations, etc.; the only issues to deal with here were the monthly or weekly cattle auction markets (ebikomera), an obituary (food markets); these were suspended;
(10) At that time, we thought that we could continue with the public transport systems of buses, mini-buses, taxis, boda-bodas, etc., provided they were given SOPs;
(11) The discos, dances, bars, sports, music shows, cinemas and concerts were all suspended;
(12) Number 12 was hygiene and enlightened (not kikafiri behaviour) behaviours of not coughing or sneezing in public, no spitting, washing with soap and water or using sanitizers, regularly disinfecting surfaces such as tables, door handles, etc. and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated and unwashed hands; and
(13) Ended with nutrition to strengthen the body defence system.
We quickly, however, learnt that some of the actors were not obeying these measures and that, for instance, the returnees from abroad, from the high-risk countries, were escaping from the quarantine even when it was mandatory. The ones in self-quarantine were also escaping, e.g. the Chinese that was arrested on the Congo border, in Zombo or the returnee from Kisumu that is the father of the Iganga baby that turned up positive that went into hiding. These gaps could cause us serious problems.
These gaps were undermining the strategy of denying the virus the fuel that it could ignite and sustain its expansion by ensuring that there is no match-box and there is no dry grass ? no virus and no concentrated masses. Therefore, on the 25th of March, 2020, on the 41st Anniversary of the battle of Rugaando, I announced two new measures:
1. Stopped all passengers coming into Uganda by air, land or water; this affected in-coming planes, buses, taxis or boats;
2. Also prohibited from entry were the pedestrians ? people walking on foot from the neighbouring countries.
In all these measures, we were careful to clearly state that cargo planes and cargo vehicles, within Uganda and between Uganda and the outside, should continue with only the crews for the air-crafts and 3 persons per cargo vehicle.
Then, on the 21st of March, 2020, we announced additional measures as follows:
(i) All public passenger transport vehicles are stopped and those were: taxis, coasters, buses, passenger trains, tuk-tuks (tri-cycles) and bodabodas;
(ii) Secondly, in order to scale down the numbers of the populations in the markets, we announced that only food sellers should remain in the markets; the non-food sellers should suspend their activities.
However, private vehicles could continue but with only 3 people maximum per vehicle. However, ambulances, army vehicles, garbage collection vehicles, etc., would continue.
Since that time, we have been monitoring the situation. It was good we took all these measures. However, there are still windows through which the virus can continue to spread. As of today, the 30th of March, 2020, 31 Ugandans and 2 Chinese have been confirmed as being positive with the virus.
Almost all of them are imported cases by Ugandans returning from mainly Dubai (UAE), Europe, the USA and Afghanistan. Only 3 are the ones that received it from the importers. These are the wife and daughter of the Masaka man and the baby from Iganga whose father had returned from Kisumu in Kenya. Out of the 33, the number of eight (8) were intercepted at Entebbe, in the quarantine or, even, at the airport, like the case number one, who was detected by the temperature monitor and another 7 that were first identified by the temperature monitoring system. This means that 14 out of the 33 had already entered the ekibuga (city, town), the lujja (compound) and some had even entered omuunju ? munyuumba (inside the house) since we did not detect them at the Eireembo (the main entrance) or they escaped from the Eishaazi ? the holding ground ? by escaping from the quarantine. How many other Ugandans did they interact closely with to infect them? That is what we need to discover and soonest. It is good that those who start feeling the symptoms report themselves, like the case from Hoima did. However, this disease has two characteristics that make the work of fighting it tedious and quite challenging and ne