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Coronavirus: Uganda suspends use of public transport


Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has suspended the use of public transport for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The directive, which takes effect immediately, will affect taxis, buses, passenger trains, tricycles, and bodabodas.

“The government has decided to suspend, for 14 days, all public transport. This means all taxis, all minibusses, all buses, all passenger trains, all tuk-tuks, and all the Boda Bodas are suspended. Why? Because we want to minimize movement,” Museveni said.

Only private vehicles will be allowed on the road but they will also be restricted to carrying three people.

Trucks and lorries delivering cargo and delivery vans and pickups will still be allowed to operate strictly as long as they are carrying food and essential commodities. Bodabodas (motorcycle operators) and tuk-tuks will be allowed to operate as long as they are not ferrying passengers.

The new directives were issued on Wednesday in a national address, where he announced confirmation of five new coronavirus cases bringing the total number of people with Covid-19 to 14 in Uganda.

The Ugandan president further directed that all markets trading in non-food items like electronics and clothing be closed.

“For now, the markets should only be for selling foodstuffs like matoke (bananas), nuts, rice, fish, etc,” he said.

On Tuesday, while addressing the nation, Museveni warned traders against taking advantage of coronavirus pandemic to inflate prices of food and other basic supplies in the country.

“I will send spies in the town to catch those hiking the price of food. I will cancel their licenses. These are crooks,’’ President Museveni said.