For those who are wondering what day-to-day life looks like in Uganda: here’s a summary of our current restrictions.
It seems like every second day the President is either releasing new restrictions or clarifying old restrictions in a national address.
Although we only have 48 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, we have potentially tougher restrictions than countries with thousands of cases.
The three restrictions that have had the biggest impact on the population (in my opinion) or the biggest potential impact is a ban on public transport – no passengers allowed on any transport and no private vehicles allowed on the road (even with just the driver); the introduction of a curfew of 7pm each day (enforced by the military and police) until 6.30am; and a ban on giving out food (other than by the government).
Although the transport ban is a slight inconvenience for our household, it is a huge problem for hundreds in need of medical treatment. You are not permitted to drive anyone to hospital (on a motorbike or in a vehicle), it must be co-ordinated with local government and health authorities. A knock-on effect to the transport ban is that now a large percentage of the population is very limited in how they can earn money.
The evening curfew has made for some very quiet evenings but also a green light for thieves taking advantage of no people on the road in the evenings. Just a couple of nights ago two thieves were shot dead trying to break into a mobile money outlet.
Finally the President has made it very clear that people caught giving out food (other than the government) will be charged with manslaughter during this period. Thousands of Ugandans are out of work at the moment and within a month or two starvation and food insecurity may be a much bigger problem than COVID-19.
Most of these restrictions have been put in place for the good of the public and to minimus the spread of the virus; however painful in other areas.
Pray for: security, safety and health of our community – and rain so newly planted crops can start growing!