Uganda announced Saturday no person will be allowed to enter country starting March 23 in a bid to prevent introduction of coronavirus to the landlocked East African nation.
“We have decided to prohibit all passenger planes coming from outside Uganda from landing at any of the airports of Uganda. Only cargo planes will be allowed to fly in and out of Uganda,” President Yoweri Museveni said in a televised address to the nation aired on NTV-Uganda.
Museveni added that relief and emergency planes belonging to the UN and humanitarian agencies will be allowed to land at specified locations.
“Uganda by God’s mercy has not yet recorded a single case of this terrible virus. Nevertheless we must fine tune our strategy against this enemy (COVID-19),” he said.
The Ugandan leader further ordered that no Ugandan or foreign national be allowed to enter the country through its land or sea entry ports, except for cargo truck drivers whose crew members should not exceed three people.
“No buses, mini-buses, private cars, or motorbike taxis will be allowed to enter the country,” Museveni said.
Uganda shares borders with Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, South Sudan, and Kenya. Many of its neighbors have already reported cases of COVID-19 infections.
The virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 166 countries and territories, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Out of over 307,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 13,000, and more than 92,000 have recovered.
Despite the rising number of cases, most of the people who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.