President Museveni maintains 7 pm to 6 am curfew, outlines risks involved in adjusting it.
President Museveni Monday said the government will not make any further adjustments on the 7 pm to 6 am curfew as many Ugandans had earlier suggested because it poses many scientific risks.
The President was addressing the nation about the ongoing coronavirus. He said like many locals, he had also earlier thought that by re-opening of both the private and public means of transport and also some businesses allowed to re-operate, the curfew was now meaningless.
But following, a deep conversation with scientists he got the clear meaning of the curfew and why it cannot be extended past 7 pm.
According to Museveni, they have tasked scientists countrywide to audit all the remaining restrictions and then advise the government on the next course of action in easing the lockdown and what particular activities to allow re-operate.
“Our scientists have been tasked to audit all the remaining restrictions and advise. In particular, some of the stakeholders have been petitioning the leadership to, more or less, completely re-open all the activities of the country. Whenever I get such requests, I refer them to the scientists.”
As a result, he explained that the scientists saw the curfew as a meaningful aspect in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus because it prohibits locals from engaging in high-risk nocturnal activities.
Museveni said that the immediate primary role of the curfew was to deter crime but now scientists have made it clear it’s adjustment can even spark the spread of the coronavirus.
The President said that before the curfew was brought to play, people would meet at bars, nightclubs and in trading centres to pass time more so in the evening hours and this in return might pose favourable grounds for the spread of the coronavirus supposing one or two people they are interacting with is infected.
“The aim of the curfew was primarily to act as an enforcement tool to prevent high-risk nocturnal activities/establishments like Bars, Nightclubs, etc., from conducting business and to deter crime under the cover of darkness.
“The start of the curfew at 7 pm (just before darkness) and end at 6.30 am (just at the beginning of daylight) was deliberate to deter crime. Pushing forward the curfew time from 7 pm to 8 pm, triggers delayed closure of other sectors like shops, supermarkets, public transport and gives the opportunity of engaging in crime which strains law enforcement.”
Justifiably, Museveni also said that following increasing cases in districts of Amuru, Kyotera and Buikwe, Uganda is now in the third phase of COVID-19 with many other border districts also still epitome areas.
This explains why they cannot allow individuals time and space to relate and concentrate in suburb areas and trading centres because it might result in further spread of the virus.
“From the epidemiological point of view, the curfew acts as a measure to restrict activities that depend on the convergence of people from taking place, hence reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“The idea is to discourage gatherings in homes, hotels, restaurants, etc. Going home early and staying home the whole night is part of the prevention. It means less mixing. The curfew time is, therefore, strategic to reduce the risk of spread and preempt crime,” the President added.