Cargo truck drivers protest quarantine, demand free food

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By URN

Cargo truck drivers at Mpondwe border town in Kasese District have protested the decision by the health official to be subjected to the mandatory 14-day-quarantine period.

Recently, authorities in Kasese with guidance from the Ministry of Health resolved to quarantine cargo truck drivers entering Uganda from DRC for 14 days in a designated area.

The move has drawn protests from the drivers saying they will incur heavy costs to maintain themselves during the quarantine period as well as their families.

Mr Akim Busulwa, a Cargo truck driver argued that those quarantined are made to dig into their pockets to sustain themselves.

“We want government to feed us throughout the quarantine period. Our families too depend on us, I don’t know how they will be surviving during this period,” he said.

Mr Allan Nkugwa, another cargo truck driver said the isolation will disrupt their work and delay their return to Kampala.

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He demands that the government does an on spot check and quarantine only those with visible symptoms.

Mr Barak Ahmed, doesn’t see the need to quarantine them, saying they don’t mix with local communities in DRC.

“It’s hard for cargo truck drivers to mix with local communities in DRC. Most drivers deliver their cargo to warehouses and return to Uganda on the same day,” he said.
However, Mr Joe Walusimbi, the Kasese Resident District Commissioner, said they will not relax any guidelines issued by the MoH to contain the spread of corona virus.
“I want to welcome the government efforts to collect samples from cargo truck drivers entering Uganda to be tested of coronavirus. It will reduce the number of days they spend in the quarantine to not more than three days,” he said.

On Tuesday, a Ugandan male truck driver who arrived from Kenya via Malaba tested positive for coronavirus. A Kenyan truck driver also tested positive for Covid-19 and was returned to his country.

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