Number of Ugandans to walk to work for 14 days over COVID-19

In the past walk to work was illegal and police were called in to control it. It's now a choice. Courtesy photo.

In summary:

  • On Wednesday, 25 March 2020 during his fourth nation address, President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta banned all public transport – among them taxis, coasters, buses, trains, tuk-tuk for 14 days.

According to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), there were “roughly 1million vehicles [in Uganda] by end of March 2018.”

This data [publication] was done by Business Focus, following government’s move then, that it would ban the importation of cars older than eight years into the country.

Ian Rumanyika, the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Public & Corporate Affairs at URA, as quoted by the above digital publication, said then that close to 80% of the motor vehicles imported in Uganda are 8 years or older.

If by the end of last fiscal year 2018/2019 Uganda had close to 1.2 million cars, also, the assumption would be that 1.2 million Ugandans employed were able to drive themselves from homes to their work places.

As of 31 July, 2019, there were more than a million boda bodas in operation in Uganda.

According to Immaculate Natukunda, who’s the principal licensing officer with Ministry of Works and Transport, more than half of them were not registered.

A data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics shows that more than 70 percent of Ugandans use public transport as their main form of transport.

In Kampala alone, by September 2015, Kampala had more than 120,000 motorcycles [boda bodas] engaged in commercial activities, like transportation of customers and their goods.

 According to Worldometer, Uganda’s current population as of March, 23, 2020 stands at 45,324,523 people.

In 2018, briefly, a UBOS’ Second National Labour Force Survey [SNLFS] showed that Uganda’s working age population had increased from 15.7 million to 18.843 million.

That release represented 81.1 percent in 2016/17 survey compared to 78.5 percent in the 2011/12 fiscal year’s survey.

Further, according to UBOS, the increase in the working age population was due to growth in population size which, by then stood at 37.7 million to the current 45.3 million people.

Working group also rose from 18.8m people to up-to-date 19.1 people – available data continues to show.

Museveni bans public transport

Ministry of Health on Wednesday confirmed five new cases of coronavirus – increasing the number of those infected to fourteen.

The five new cases, confirmed by State Health Minister for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku, involved two Chinese nationals who had escaped quarantine and were arrested from Zombo district – escaping to neighbouring country, DRC.

Of the remaining three, an 8 month old baby also tested positive of the global pandemic.

From the Ministry of Health

Before the plague, Uganda’s health ministry had issued guidelines and improved examination at Entebbe International Airport whilst President Museveni, also coming out to issue directives.

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However, since the first case – involving a 36 year old man who had returned from Dubai was confirmed, and subsequent eight cases – and five – confirmed on Wednesday, a number of directives were already issued by President Museveni.

Among few of the directives Mr Museveni issued last week were; banning all social gatherings, religious activities, among others.

In his subsequent directive, the President also announced a ban on flights into and out of the country, to mention but a few.

On Wednesday, 25 March 2020 during his fourth nation address, he banned all public transport – among them taxis, coasters, buses, trains, tuk-tuk for 14 days.

He added that private vehicles should not carry more than three people.

Mr Museveni also issued restriction and condition for markets’ operations, directing that markets should only be for selling food stuffs.

The above directives followed a Wednesday cabinet meeting in which it was resolved that public transport be temporarily closed for two weeks, to help monitor virus spread across the country.

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