Uganda President Makes Good to Fully Reopen Economy
HE Yoweri Museveni - Image courtesy of gou.go.ug
The reopening was staggered starting with the education sector, which had earned the country the longest lockdown in the world after 2 years of closure with the following other measures as indicated below.
The transport sector, which has been operating at 50%, opened fully, but with the necessary SOPs such as the wearing of masks as well as full vaccination by both the crew of public service vehicles and travelers. Cinema halls and sports events have also been allowed to operate with SOPs.
Performing arts, concerts, and entertainment spots opened at the stroke of midnight on Monday, January 24, with nightlife bursting onto the scene as some revelers elected to dance on bar and night club countertops in droves to let off steam after 2 years of being on lockdown.
Bodabodas (motorbike taxis), however, have been ordered to continue to observe the curfew hours of 1900 to 0530 hours as they have been blacklisted for causing insecurity.
In a statement issued on the reopening by Uganda police spokesman Fred Enanga, he acknowledged that it is vital for businesses and sectors such as culture, hospitality, and the night economy for their continuity and survival, as per the roadmap of the country.
Said Enanga: “It marks the beginning of night life and its journey to rebuild itself. It includes a wide range of activity in towns and city centers between the hours of 7 pm to 6 am, including pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants, retail, cinemas, theatres, concerts, and transport.
“It is, therefore, an important driver for tourism, leisure, and business growth within towns, cities, and rural areas. Already there is a high demand for night clubs, and social entertainment, bars, and saunas as well as unrestricted movement for motorists. Everyone is excited.”
However, he reminded the public that everyone should be keen to adhere to the health and safety protocols required to reduce the spread of COVID-19 simply because mask wearing and social distancing requirements are very lax in night clubs, bars, and discos.
He added that the re-opening comes with an increase in numbers of new cases. Therefore, it is important that everyone carefully manage the re-opening in the safest possible way. These include ventilation systems in all venues, sanitation stations throughout all clubs, increased frequency of cleaning schedules, and the deployment of highly trained staff who are well versed in crowd management control.
Results of COVID-19 tests taken on January 19, 2022, confirmed 220 new cases; 160,572 cumulative cases; 99,095 cumulative recoveries; and 12,599,741 total doses administered of the 42,000,000 population, representing approximately 30%.