Ban on Public Transport Leaves Hundreds of Travelers Stranded in Gulu

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Some of the travelers stranded in Gulu after police and military forced them to disembark from the buses following ban on public transport to prevent spread of COVID-19 - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Hundreds of travelers were left left stranded in Gulu Town on Wednesday night following a 14-day ban on public transport by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

On Wednesday President Museveni announced the 14-day Government’s travel ban on public transport in order to curtail the spread the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Several passengers from Kitgum, Adjumani, Elegu, Lamwo and Pader District aboard Knightliners Transporters; Homeland Holdings Company LTD, Roblyn, and Makome Buses enroute to Kampala had their journey cut short.

To implement the ban, Field Force Unit – FFU police personnel commanded by Gulu District Police Commander DPC, Emmanuel Mafundo backed by soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF raided different bus terminals and forcefully dispersed hundreds of passengers.

Michael Odora, a passenger from Kitgum aboard Homeland bus to Kampala expressed disappointment at the sudden implementation President Museveni’s directive saying it inconvenienced his response to an emergency in the city.

Another disgruntled passenger, Beatrice Lapobo, who had booked to leave by 10:00 pm bus told Uganda Radio Network that it would have been better to announce a 24-hour grace period to allow travelers adjust to the ban. By press time, heavily armed police and the military were still patrolling the bus terminals that include Buganda Pub stage; Delta Stage and Juba Stage along Gulu – Kampala highway as wells as Gulu bus main park where buses that depart at 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm and 12:00 pm always park.

Since Monday, 10 people who include five Ugandans and five South Sudanese have been isolated in Gulu Town for defying 14 days’ quarantine precautionary measure against infectious COVID-19.

Uganda has confirmed 14 cases of the virus since March 21 when the first case was reported.

URN.