museveni bars concerts reopen (1)
Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda. FILE PHOTO

Bars, discos, and beaches in Uganda will only resume operation once at least 4.8 million people are vaccinated, according to President Yoweri Museveni.

Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda, has ordered that bars, discos, concerts, and beaches will not be allowed to operate until the country has vaccinated at least 4.8 million people.

Museveni made the remarks on Wednesday evening while announcing new restrictions containing the spread of the pandemic.

He said these areas of focus tend to congregate large masses of people and similarly it is very hard for people to observe the standard operating procedures.

As a result, the president indicated that until at least 4.8 million is vaccinated, these will remain closed because they might harbour the further spread of the virus.

“Concerts, disco halls, performing artists and beaches, these tend to congregate large numbersand are difficult to control. With the level of vaccination still low, I direct that these remain closed until at least the 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated.”

Bars area high risk area where individuals have no sobriety to observe the SOPs. They will be considered for re-opening when the 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated,” Museveni directed.

Relatively, he said the cinemas and the local cinema halls popularly known as Bibanda should remain closed because they are areas of immense crowding and mostly have poor aeration and are designed to have artificial ventilation.

The president, in addition, promised that the country is speeding up plans to have a big number of citizens get vaccinated. He said by Wednesday the country was stocked with 2,294,000 doses of vaccines available at the National Medical Stores (NMS) out of the total 11,978,840 million doses expected by end of December 2021. 

In regards to the vaccination strategy, he said the government is among others scaling up vaccination for all the eligible Ugandans aged 18 years and above.

“Prioritizing the vaccination of the 4.8 million priority population including the health workers, teachers, security personnel, elderly persons of 50 years and above, those below 50 years with comorbiditiesand 330,000 students in post-secondary institutions aged 18 years and above. Therefore, I now direct with immediate effect that, all RDCs, CAOs and DHOs must carry out intensive,” Museveni promised.

“Mobilization for all eligible priority groups to go for vaccination. They should,in addition, ensure that no vaccines are wasted or left to expire,” he added warning that in any district where vaccines expire, the RDC, CAO and DHO will be dismissed. 

He, however, called on the health ministry to enhance surveillance at the airport and all the 53 land ports of entry in a bid to limit importing into the country new deadly variants of the vaccine.

“Government will establish testing facilities at the airport and all land border points of entry. In the interim (not more than 2 weeks), the private laboratories will continue to test the incoming travellers.”