Uganda imposes new anti-coronavirus measures to stem raging pandemic – .

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Uganda imposes new anti-coronavirus measures to stem raging pandemic – .


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia on October 23, 2019. Sputnik / Mikhail Metzel / Kremlin via REUTERS

KAMPALA, June 18 (Reuters) – Ugandan President Yowreri Museveni on Friday introduced sweeping new anti-coronavirus measures, including a ban on all movement of vehicles except essential workers to help curb a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raging in the country.

The East African country, like most other African peers, had been relatively untouched by the first wave. It suddenly started seeing a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections last month after authorities confirmed they detected the presence of the Indian coronavirus variant. Read more

“The country has experienced more aggressive and sustained growth from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Museveni said in a televised address.

He said the daily number of people testing positive has risen to more than 1,700, from less than 100 just three weeks ago.

“We know of very high hospitalization and death rates for COVID-19 patients in all age categories. “

In further steps to curb the pandemic, it has banned the circulation of public and private vehicles, except those carrying patients and those used by essential workers like health workers.

An existing curfew that started at 9 p.m. has been moved forward to 7 p.m. while places such as bustling malls, churches and sports stadiums have been closed.

The new restrictions, Museveni said, will last 42 days.

To date, Uganda has registered a total of 68,778

COVID-19 cases and 542 deaths.

Over the past two weeks, local media have widely reported that most healthcare facilities, public and private, are filling up and refusing patients while others have taxed the oxygen supply.

The new restrictions could undermine a fragile economic recovery after the blow from last year’s lockdown.

The restrictions contributed to an economic contraction of 1.1% in 2020, but the finance ministry predicted ahead of Friday’s new measures that growth would soar to 4.3% in the fiscal year starting in July.

Report by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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