President Yoweri Museveni announced on Tuesday, May 19, that lockdown measures introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be further eased. All individuals aged over the age of six will be issued a face masks which must be worn when in public spaces as a precautionary measure. Members of the public will be permitted to use private vehicles from Tuesday, May 26, so long as no more than three people are in the vehicle at one time. Following the issuance of face masks, public transport will be permitted to resume at half capacity from Saturday, June 4, except in districts located along border crossings with South Sudan, the DRC, Kenya, and Tanzania. Shops, hotels, and restaurants will resume operations from May 26 in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Gyms, bars, and salons will remain closed through Monday, June 8. Schools will also reopen for students scheduled to sit national examinations in 2020. Meanwhile, the current nationwide curfew, will remain in place from 19:00 to 06:30 (local time) through June 8.
Earlier on Monday, May 4, authorities eased several COVID-19 restrictions, allowing certain businesses to reopen, including hardware shops, mechanic workshops, metal and wood workshops, and insurance companies. Restaurants are permitted to open but only for takeaway orders; however, operations are allowed to resume at restaurants and hotels from Tuesday, May 26, under strict social distancing guidelines. Additionally, individuals traveling to work will need to take buses chartered by their employers, cycle, or walk to their workplace. Gatherings of more than five people are also banned.
Uganda's borders remain closed since Saturday, March 21. Authorities have closed all land, water, and air points of entry until further notice, while only cargo and humanitarian flights will be allowed to land in the country.
As of Wednesday, May 20, there are 260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide and no associated fatalities. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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