Authorities in Uganda are introducing tougher preventive measures against the novel coronavirus as the number of cases in the country rose to 53 on Wednesday.
President Yoweri Museveni announced the new measures in an address to the nation, adding he will act harshly against those who disregard his instructions.
The new measures include banning people from exercising in public because they do it in groups without observing social distancing. They have also been reportedly jogging in large groups on roads.
“Stop exercising in public. If you want to exercise, do it in your house. Exercise in your rooms,” he said. The president has also instructed that no boda-bodas, or motorcycle taxis, are to be seen on roads after 2 p.m.
He also ordered the arrest of politicians giving out food to people because it endangers the lives of Ugandans by undermining the measures put in place against the coronavirus.
In addition, he asked landlords not to evict their tenants for defaulting on rent payments because at the moment they are not working.
Museveni said it was unfortunate that members of the police and army were severely beating people who were not following his preventive measures such as the curfew and not gathering in groups.
He has threatened to severely punish whoever is caught doing so.
''Stop beating people. I do not want to see policemen and soldiers beating people. Beating people is not acceptable. When you do that, you give a bad image of our security personnel,” he added.
His comments came after a public outcry over security personnel beating people who defy the curfew he imposed about two weeks ago. Some people have been admitted to hospitals after being severely beaten.
At the same function, Health Minister Jane Aceng provided the latest figures on COVID-19 victims.
She said that so far, they have tested 3,600 people, of which 53 were positive.
They include nine who were identified at Entebbe International Airport upon their return after they were found to have high temperatures, 26 identified while in quarantine and 13 who had the opportunity to interact with the public.
This article was originally published by AA.