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Coronavirus: Uganda Forms Joint Security Taskforce

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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Uganda’s National Security Council has set up an Inter-Agency Joint Task Force (JTF) at National and Regional levels to support the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Combating CODIV 19 epidemic in Uganda.

The constitution of this team comes against the backdrop of increased public anger over the disrespect of guidelines rolled out by the Health Ministry to counter the epidemic.

These include escaping from quarantine zones and refusal by lawmakers, who recently traveled to Dubai, to undertake mandatory tests for Coronavirus.

ChimpReports has learned that hundreds of people who recently arrived at Entebbe International Airport were quarantined at several hotels including Frontier, Grand Global (Kikoni, Makerere), Katomi Kingdom (Garuga), Arch Apartments (Ntinda) and Botanical Beach hotel (Entebbe).

However, it is reported management of some of these hotels were yet to put in place satisfactory security measures to prevent other people from using their facilities.

It also emerged that some of the people in quarantine were allowed to receive visitors at the hotel and even drive out for shopping.

This made the quarantine process meaningless as suspected cases continued to mingle with other unexposed people.

ChimpReports understands the JTF is led by the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces’ (UPDF) Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi.

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The JTF comprises of Officers from the UPDF, Uganda Police Force (UPF), Uganda Prison Services (UPS), National Joint Intelligence Committee, Immigration and Customs.

Membership has also been extended to National Water and Sewerage Corporation, UMEME and KCCA.

At Operational level, the JTF is led by the Chief of Staff Land Forces, Maj General Leopold Kyanda and it is stationed at the Police Joint Operation Center in Naguru.

The JTF coordinates direct support from the Agencies to the MOH.

The UPDF and UPF are attaching 240 medical personnel to support the MOH, 40 of who are already deployed at Entebbe Airport and Mulago Hospital.

The JTF further monitors and ensures compliance on the measures issued by the President and Commander-In-Chief and the Ministry of Health on prevention of the spread of Corona Virus.

The new team said in a statement on Wednesday that “Security Forces have already deployed to ensure observance of; mandatory quarantine, MOH guidelines at non-agricultural work places and when using public transport.”

The Forces are further ensuring compliance with the closure of; educational institutions, merry-making venues, monthly markets and national borders. And, banning of; religious gatherings, political or cultural gatherings, weeding gatherings of more than 10 people and mass funeral
gatherings.

The JTF appreciates the level of cooperation so far showed by majority of the people in Uganda in ensuring compliance with the safety measures issued to secure the country from the COVID 19 threat.

The JTF further monitors the security situation to avert possible opportunistic criminal cases and ensures uninterrupted provision of vital services. We appeal to the Public to pass vital security related information and non-compliance cases to the nearest Police or UPDF establishments. The JFT can also be reached on 0800300100 (Toll Free), +256713250391, +256753997665 and +256714012734.

The Public is further informed that the JTF can also offer additional evacuation support to the MOH for COVID 19 suspected cases. In addition to the MOH Emergency lines, the Public can also contact the JTF to report/inform on suspected COVID 19 cases for immediate evacuation to MOH designated treatment facilities. The JTF Evacuation contacts are; +256772 831 993, +256772 510 522 and +256772 354 011.


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