President Yoweri Museveni has slammed those who are agitating for the re-opening of schools as people who don’t wish their country well.
In his latest update to the nation of the situation of COVID-19,made yesterday June 22, 2020, Museveni said that Uganda and the region at large has entered a very dangerous stage in the COVID-19 Pandemic because of the existence of Community Infections not only in Uganda but more so in neighbouring countries.
Museveni said that whereas the number of positive COVID-19 cases has declined, there is a worrying trend of Community infections in Kampala, Kayunga, Mutukula and in Amuru district of northern Uganda.
He said that because of this, re-opening of schools is very risky indeed. According to Museveni, the only safe scenario for re-opening of schools is if the country is able to obtain a vaccine that would confer resistance to pupils.
Although there is a global effort to expedite the research and production of a vaccine, WHO and other scientists say this could take at least another six months. The news is sure to hit school proprietors, teachers, banks and other suppliers who depend on the normal operations of schools quite hard.
Schools and all other education institutions were closed on March 18, 2020 and have remained in limbo every since. With more than 3 months now gone, anxiety has been running high.
Loans to schools and teachers
President Museveni yesterday offered an olive branch to teachers and school proprietors by offering that the government will extend soft loans to them.
To avoid the situation where children go to waste without classes, Museveni said the government is planning to district a radio set per household that will ensure that children can use them to learn, away from school.
Although President Museveni noted in his previous COVID-19 speech, that he favoured an arrangement where candidates would be allowed to continue to do their exams, this has since changed after consultations with stakeholders in the industry.
The President now thinks all children including candidates and finalists should continue learning from home. He assured Ugandans that the government will continue using the media to enable children learn all that they are supposed to, from home.
Museveni has always emphasized that he prefers having his children miss at least a year that go to school where they can catch COVID-19.
Schools re-opening premised on Vaccine
President Museveni gave an indicator that according to him, the only scenario he sees for schools is if the world has a safe vaccine that confers resistance to people who catch it.
Museveni says life is more valuable than all other things that people call precious; including education, businesses and social life. In his address yesterday, Museveni said that the curfew they imposed is not only intended to protect people from crime, though it is a big part of it, but also to restrict people from getting involved in risky social gatherings such as bars.
Since it is a dawn to dusk curfew, he says, Ugandans now sleep, and rest, enough unlike in the past when some people would spend their nights drinking alcohol and engaging in immorality. These people, he says, are sleeping and resting enough today at night , which is good for their health. Bars and night clubs would ease the spread of the virus, he said.
Private cars, the president said, will now carry four passengers. Previously they were carrying only three. Bodas bodas, president Museveni said, cannot be allowed to carry people now.
According to Museveni, the movement of people on bodas bodas will enhance the spread of the virus to even the remotest parts of the country since they (bodas bodas), unlike taxis or buses, can ferry people to even their doorsteps.
President Museveni said churches, mosques, salons and arcades will remain closed for more 21 days.
At the time of Museveni’s address yesterday night, Uganda had tested 170, 789 samples and out these only 774 had tested positive. No one had died from Covid-19 in Uganda.