Museveni pronounces national holiday in Uganda over Covid-19

Public holiday for Ugandans

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has declared June 24, 2021 as a public holiday for his country.

In a notice published on Thursday, President Museveni pronounced it as a national day of prayer over the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I have accepted a request from religious leaders to dedicate the nation in prayer amidst our fight against COVID-19. I call upon all of you to pray for our health experts and for the different families that have been affected. Therefore, I declare Friday (25th) a public holiday," the Ugandan president stated.

The East African nation had reported 74,260 Covid-19 cases by Thursday and 752 deaths since its first reported case.

The prayers will be held virtually and will involve worshipers from all faiths and denominations.

The President announced a number of institutions where various religious leaders will be allowed to conduct the prayers as the country is in a total lockdown.

"The number of infections have increased by 17 fold whereas the number of deaths have also more than doubled in the last one month.

"The prayers will be held virtually at State House Entebbe at mid-day but the leaders of the various religious denominations will lead the prayers via Zoom... Members of the public have been asked to attend prayers from their homes through radios, TVs and social media channels that will relay the prayers live," the notice read in part.

Uganda in Lockdown

The development comes a week after President Museveni imposed a total lockdown of the country for 42 days as a measure to control the spread of the virus.

"The strategy is to prevent these infections so that we have few infected people if at all. The situation can be managed by minimizing the number of infections and give urgent care for the severely ill," President Museveni stated last week.

Additional directives included an allowance for registered tourists’ vehicles to move directly to their destinations and designated places. Emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers vehicles are also allowed to move

President Museveni has also instituted a dusk-to-dawn curfew between 7:00 pm to 5:30 am with boda bodas ordered to cease operations at 5:00 pm daily.

"Testimonies from credible sources indicate that schools had been deliberately silent about infections among students due to fear of closure," Museveni observed, directing all schools and institutions of learning remain closed for 42 days.

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