By Ivan Mwine
President Yoweri Museveni’s new directives on combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Uganda have sparked off untold fear and panic amongst parents, especially after he directed the closure of all schools for 42 days.
This has left very many parents, especially those who had paid school fees for their children stranded, wondering whether when government reopens schools after 42 days they will be excused by school proprietors from paying school fees again.
Following the presidential directive for closure of all schools, thousands of parents across the country have flocked schools to collect their children.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do, because I had just finished paying the school fees and thought my two children are going to spend the next three months in boarding school,” Fred Musoke, a resident of Seeta, Mukono, said.
He added that; “Now, on top pf losing the money I paid for school fees, my children will require feeding, yet I don’t have enough money and had budgeted for them to eat at school.”
President Museveni announced during his speech on Sunday night a new series of regulations and directives that government has come up with in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Presidential directives include but are not limited to the following;
1. All schools and institutions of higher learning to close for 42 days from 7th June starting 8am.
2. All teachers to fully be vaccinated before being accepted in schools.
3. Prayers in churches, mosques suspended for 42 days. Pray from home.
4. Public and cultural gatherings suspended for 42 days except Judiciary, Executive and Legislature meetings.
5. Travel from Category A countries suspended, except for returning Ugandans. India currently only country in this category.
6. Agriculture activities to continue unhindered.
7. Non-agricultural activities like malls, supermarkets, construction, to continue with SoPs.
8. Factories, hotels, taxi parks to operate under strict SoPs.
9. Weddings allowed with 20 people maximum with SoPs. House parties are banned.
10. Burials, vigils should not exceed 20 mourners.
11. Weekly open-air markets, cattle auction markets suspended for 42 days.
12. All public transport between and across districts suspended for 42 days effective June 10th.
13. Inter-district travel stopped for 42 days except within Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono. Exemption are cargo trucks, tourist vehicles, essential & emergency service vehicles.
14. Public transport within same district allowed but with SoPs.
15. Cargo trucks allowed to carry two people.
16. Sports can go on but without spectators.
17. 30% physical presence at office for 42 days. Appoint a compliance person.
18. Not more than three people in private vehicles including driver. They also don’t move across districts.
19. Arcades, hardware shops, to operate under SoPs, and close at 7pm. Owners to be held liable for breach. Pharmacies to be exempted.
21. Salons, lodges, garages to operate till 7pm. Bars however shouldn’t operate. Drunkards can’t understand SoPs.
22. Curfew stays at 9pm to 5.30am and vigorously enforced.
23. Health emergencies during curfew to be attended to by security.
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