Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Uganda extends coronavirus-related restrictions through May 5. Significant disruptions likely.

This alert affects Uganda

This alert began 14 Apr 2020 20:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Coronavirus-related restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 5
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions; increased security

Summary
Ugandan authorities have extended the country's existing nationwide restrictive measures through at least May 5 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures, which were originally imposed during late March for a period of 14 days, include the following:

  • A nationwide 1900-0630 curfew is in place, requiring residents to remain in their homes, with the exception of members of the military, police, health workers, and utilities workers.
  • All private vehicles are to remain off the road, with the exception of cargo transporters.
  • Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
  • Nonessential businesses are to remain closed, including shopping malls, hardware stores, bars, and other establishments. Essential services that are allowed to continue operating include medical and veterinary operations, door-to-door delivery services, banks, private security companies, cleaning services, garbage collection, fire brigades, filling stations, utilities, and grocery stores.
  • Shops that sell essential products such as food, agricultural and veterinary products, detergents, and pharmaceuticals, will remain open.


Authorities had previously imposed a number of other restrictions including closing all borders, schools, and universities; suspending all international passenger flights; canceling all sporting events and gatherings, and closing bars and restaurants until further notice. Additional restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda are possible in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Ugandan government are stricter than those taken by many governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Reconfirm all planned travel arrangements. Plan accordingly for protracted commercial, transport, and logistics disruptions. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Health Uganda: www.health.go.ug