By Charles Etukuri
Will President Yoweri Museveni bow down to pressure on Friday and fully-reopen the economy? This is the key question pn the mind of several Ugandan after the President Museveni Senior Press Secretary Linda Nabusayi confirmed the head of state will on Friday (November 19, 2021) at 8:00 pm address the nation on the current Covid-19 situation and related matters.
The address will be live on all Television and Radio stations.
On September 23, the President said bars, discos, concerts, and beaches will not be allowed to operate until the country has vaccinated at least 4.8 million people while announcing new restrictions containing the spread of the pandemic. So far, 4.83 million doses have been administered, and the number will have grown significantly by Friday.
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 are vaccinated, these will remain closed because they might harbor the further spread of the virus.
“While it is our aim to scale up vaccination for all the eligible Ugandans aged 18 years and above (approximately 22m). Our immediate goal is to vaccinate the 4.8m priority population that is near “the fire” as the Government continues to mobilise for vaccines. The priority population includes health workers, teachers, security personnel, elderly persons of 50 years and above, those below 50 years with comorbidities, and 330,000 students in post-secondary institutions aged 18 years and above,” the President said.
“Concerts, disco halls, performing artists and beaches, these tend to congregate large numbers and 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.
In March last year, the Government announced a series of measures which included closure of schools, places of public gathering like bars, banned public transport among others as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19. A series of the measures announced have since been lifted but some like closure of bars have remained.
However several bars have continued operating in secret.