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Museveni orders closure of schools as Covid-19 cases surge

June 7, 2021 (KAMPALA) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the closure of schools and suspension of religious gatherings in the wake of the surge in cases of coronavirus.

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Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni speaks at the national dialogue launch in South Sudan, May 22, 2017 (PPU photo)

Addressing the nation on the Covid-19 situation on Sunday, Museveni said there is need to control rates at which the virus is spreading in the country.

“All schools and institutions of higher learning should close for 42 days effective 8:00AM of 7th June 2021,” he said.

Museveni said schools have become an epicenter for the virus, thus the need to close them to avoid continued spread of the pandemic.

“There is an increased number of clusters of infections in schools. When the children were in villages, I didn’t hear of any infections. Now when we opened schools have become new centres of infections," he explained.

He noted that a total of 948 cases have been reported in 43 schools in 22 districts with Kampala, Gulu, Masaka and Oyam districts constituting 61% of the reported cases in schools and higher institutions.

According to Museveni, because of the need to stop this trend, there is need to close all schools and institutions of higher learning for a period of 42 days until further notice.

“All schools that had been open should close with immediate effect. The risk of staying together is bigger than that of dispersal. The reason is to avoid concentrations.”

The president said that for all teachers to return to school, they should first get vaccinated.

Museveni also directed that all religious institutions including churches and mosques should suspend their activities that bring together gatherings for a period of 42 days as government monitors the situation.

He, however, said whereas the virus was contained, starting March, there has been a surge which he partly blamed to laxity by members of the public in regards the observance of Standard Operating Procedures put in place by government.

“It is becoming a real problem because the virus has mutated and now attacking the young people. The whole thing has changed from recent data projection, the situation is expected to further escalate because of poor compliance by population to follow SOPs and directives,” he said.

Uganda has so far registered 52,935 cases of Covid-19, according to the Health ministry.

(ST)