Sixty-one ungazetted landing sites at the Lake Albert shoreline in Bunyoro sub – region will soon be closed in the first phase to prevent the spread of Covid-19 into the country.
This was revealed by Major General Leopold Kyanda shortly after a meeting with leaders from Bunyoro sub-region in Hoima town today (Friday).
The closure will be effected by the Inter-Agency Joint Taskforce (JTF), according to the General.
Maj Gen Kyanda said it has been observed that people from neighbouring countries are taking advantage of the porous borders to cross into Uganda when they are positive for coronavirus.
“We have gone through these landing sites and assessed that they are a danger. We, therefore, agreed to reduce them from 200 to 61 in the first phase,” Gen Kyanda said.
The army officer added that 139 landing sites will be closed in the second phase. However, he declined to reveal when the second phase will begin.
The closure is in line with President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to fight the spread of Covid-19 in Uganda.
There are only six legal landing sites including Kaiso in Hoima, Sebagoro in Kikuube, Kitebere in Kagadi and Songa, Wanseko and Butiaba in Buliisa districts.
Gen Kyanda said that the JTF was concerned about the growing number of Covid-19 cases being recorded in the country. He said that coronavirus is being imported by truck drivers and travellers.
The JTF was set up by Uganda’s Security Council at national and regional levels to support the Ministry of Health in combating COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda.
It is being led by the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi.
The JTF comprises officers from the UPDF, Uganda Police Force (UPF), Uganda Prison Services (UPS), National Joint Intelligence Committee, Immigration and Customs. The National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Umeme and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
At operational level, the JTF is led by the Chief of Staff Land Forces, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda. The taskforce is stationed at the Police Joint Operation Centre in Naguru.
The JTF coordinates direct support from the agencies to the Ministry of Health (MOH) with the UPDF and UPF attaching 240 medical personnel to support the MOH, 40 of who are already deployed at Entebbe Airport and Mulago Hospital.
In addition to the MOH emergency lines, the public can also contact the JTF to report or inform on suspected COVID cases for immediate evacuation to MOH designated treatment facilities on +256772 831 993, +256772 510 522 and +256772 354 011.