2020 coronavirus pandemic in Uganda

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Uganda
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China
Arrival date20 March 2020
(2 weeks)
Confirmed cases44

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Uganda in March 2020.



On 20 March, the first case of COVID-19 in Uganda was confirmed.[1][2] The confirmed case is a 36-year-old male who had travelled to Dubai on March 17, 2020 for a business trip. On returning to Uganda on March 21, 2020 at around 2 am aboard Ethiopian Airlines, his temperature was said to be at 38.7 during the screening process at Entebbe Airport which prompted the health team at the airport to isolate him at the airport for further follow up. Another 8 cases were confirmed by the ministry of health on 24 March and all were cases that came between 17 and 20 of March aboard Ethiopian and Emirates flights some on board the same flight as the index case.[3]


March 18: Public gatherings including worship, pubs, weddings, music shows, rallies and cultural meetings have been suspended for 32 days with immediate effect.

March 18: foreigners and Ugandan citizens arriving in the country will be put under 14-day mandatory quarantine, but will fund for their institutional quarantine. The quarantines are happening in hotels designated by the government in Entebbe, about an hour from Kampala, but will be paid for by the citizens themselves. Since the mandatory quarantine began, about 40 travelers have been forced to pay up to US$840 to stay in the Central Inn hotel, a cost that is excessive for most Ugandans. Witnesses have said that people unable to pay the hotel fees have been forced to sleep in the lobby of the hotel, while others have been stranded at the airport. It is also not clear if the government is upholding basic health standards in the hotel quarantines. Travelers forced to stay in the hotel are reportedly forced to stay in close proximity to each other and the hotel staff, with some unable even to take a shower. One person posted on Facebook that no medical officer has visited the hotel and that staff have frequently entered and left the premises and worked without protective gear. >

March 20: Closure of all schools and universities for 30 days.[4]

March 23: The Health Department reported of 8 new cases making the total number of reported cases 9. All cases are Ugandan Nationals who have travelled back from Dubai

March 25: Public transport has been suspended for 14 days. Only private cars with not more than three occupants are allowed on the road.[1]

March 26: Several reports of security personnel beating Ugandans who are out in the streets. Trade Minister, Amelia Kyambadde on Thursday said government was concerned about the way police and other sister security agencies had started treating Ugandans following President Museveni's suspension of public transport and non-food markets in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “There has been a misinterpretation of directives. I have been told that restaurants, arcades, salons, shops, supermarkets are being closed. That's wrong. They should continue to operate as long as they are not in food markets. However, periodic markets that happen weekly are suspended. The exception is for those selling foodstuffs,” she said.

March 26: Police and other security personnel are heavily deployed in all city suburbs, slums and along the streets to enforce the president's directives. A few people who have breached the enforcements have been arrested. This mainly applies to boda boda riders who defied the ban on public transport and carried passengers. [2]


As a precautionary measure, on 18 March, President Yoweri Museveni banned all incoming and outgoing travel to specified highly affected countries for a period of 32 days.[5] Schools have been closed and public gatherings banned.[6]


  1. ^ Obulutsa, George (21 March 2020). "Angola, Eritrea, Uganda confirm first cases as coronavirus spreads in Africa". National Post. Reuters. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ Ministry of Health - Uganda [@MinofHealthUG] (21 March 2020). "Uganda confirms 1st case of COVID-19" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Uganda confirms first coronavirus case". 22 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Museveni orders closure of schools". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Uganda bans travellers from COVID-19 hit countries". PML. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Uganda's Museveni orders closure of schools, bans public gatherings". The East African. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
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