100 truck drivers lose jobs over coronavirus

A Kenyan health officer checks the temprature of a truck driver from Uganda at a border post in Busia, Kenya, on April 28. FILE PHOTO

A t least 100 Ugandan truck drivers have lost their jobs after spending time off duty to get treatment for Covid-19.
Mr Byron Kinene, the chairperson of the Regional Lorry Drivers and Transporters Association, yesterday said the truck owners hired new drivers due to the long period the infected ones spend in hospitals.

“About 100 have lost their jobs because their trucks were given away. Other car owners sold off the vehicles because they are not sure when Covid-19 will end. Some have debts and they ended up selling the vehicles while some were fired indirectly,” Mr Kinene said.

By yesterday, the country’s coronavirus cases stood at 694 with 219 recoveries.
More than 337 Ugandan truck driver have tested positive for Covid-19 while 780 of their foreign colleagues have been sent back.

One truck driver currently receiving treatment who preferred anonymity, said they have not been given any medicine in the past few days. “Our days are done but they are not discharging us. They are not giving us medicine, but only food.

When we ask them whether it is the food that we need, they tell us that food is also medicine,” the truck driver said.
He added that his boss called alerting him that he was about to give away his truck to another driver.

“My boss told me he is giving out my vehicle to someone else today. I told him to wait until they discharge me. I left the vehicle at the border,” the patient said.

“We do not make contracts with our bosses that we are going to drive the vehicle for a certain period of time,” he added.

Dr Moses Muwanga, the director of Entebbe hospital, urged the infected truck drivers to remain patient because some may not have symptoms but still has the virus.
“Covid-19 has no treatment. We don’t take people to hospital for treatment. We isolate them from the community not to spread [the virus],” Dr Muwanga said.

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