Greetings from a quarantined world! Due to the Coronavirus, Uganda has been under one of the strictest lockdowns on the continent of Africa. On May 5, 2020*, according to Reuters, Uganda began to loosen their restrictions.
Reuters continued to report:
The country of 42 million reported 97 confirmed cases* and no deaths in 45 days of restrictions, and President Museveni said it was now better equipped to trace and detect new infections faster.
“We have somehow tamed the virus,” Museveni said in a televised address late on Monday.
“It is high time we … start slowly and carefully to open up, but without undoing our achievements.”
However, Africa also has extremely low levels of testing, with rates of only around 500 per million people.
Uganda, alongside neighboring Rwanda, had some of Africa’s strictest lockdown measures, including the shutting of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public transport vehicles.
Businesses including hardware shops, restaurants, wholesale stores and others will now be allowed to reopen.
Public transport and most private vehicles would still remain prohibited, however – meaning that workers for reopened businesses will have to commute either by bicycle or on foot.
Schools and international borders were to remain shut, Museveni said.
After a 14-day period, he said, authorities will announce the next level of reopening.
While this is good news for people who can work again, there are still several restrictions in place. Challenges remain for the people ROWAN serves. Widows, who are the sole providers for their children (and who were already up against incredible odds before the virus hit), are dealing with severe food shortages. Additionally, there has been no word as to when children can go back to school. If you are able, please consider donating. We are thankful to have a good relationship with local law enforcement, which means we are able to continue to use our bus to deliver food directly to orphans and widows in their homes.
Pastor Paul and Mama Edith remain in Colorado waiting for borders to open in June. ROWAN staff members are using this time to pray, work, and plan for ROWAN. God has been loving and guiding during this difficult time. He is always faithful and brings us Hope!
*Updated Information: As of Tuesday, May 12th, WHO reported 122 total cases in Uganda, 1 new case, and still zero deaths. Keep praying with us!