COVID-19 cases spike: Public transport faces suspension

Monday August 17 2020
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Works and Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala

Works and Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala has told operators of public transport that the government could be forced to halt their operations if they fail to obey guidelines that were issued in March to control the spread of coronavirus.

The operators of public transport were told only to ensure that travellers wear facemasks and sanitise their hands before boarding public transport cars.

Boda boda riders were instructed to register details of their passengers to enable health workers trace them in case the riders tested positive.

However, the guidelines are hardly followed by taxi and boda boda operators.

Fellow Ugandans, it has come to my attention that some taxi operators and motorists are not obeying the #COVID19 guidelines in place,” Gen Wamala tweeted on Monday. “With the increasing cases of community transmission, we may be forced to halt public transport.”

This follows a spike of COVID-19 cases in Uganda since June, when government eased restrictions and allowed public transport to resume.

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Uganda on Sunday registered 66 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 1, 500.

Of the cases registered on Sunday, 30 are alerts from Kampala, six from Namisindwa, District seven from Wakiso, 10 from Tororo, Moroto, Katakwi, Buikwe, Bukwo, Bundibugyo, Mbale, Isingiro, Hoima and Buliisa.

Recently, Ms Betty Amongi, the Minister for Kampala Affairs, said the Covid-19 hotspots in Kampala are arcades, public and private transport, workplaces and slums.

“We have had 50 per cent increase in Kampala, we opened arcades, and two arcades have registered people who tested positive. Workplaces are a major risk factor and public transport. Majority of the people who have tested positive have either moved in taxis or used boda bodas and in this area, tracking has become very complicated because same taxis usually take three or five routes in a day,” Ms Amongi said last week.

 

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