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Cross Border Truck Drivers Banned from Stopovers in Kitgum

The resolution made during a weekly task-force meeting on Friday aims at curbing truck drivers from neighbouring East African countries from spreading the virus.
Cargo Trucks detsined for South Sudan Capital Juba parked at Elegu Town Council in Amuru District at the Uganda-South Sudan Border. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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Kitgum District COVID-19 Taskforce has resolved to ban all cross-border truck drivers from making stopovers in the district.

The resolution made during a weekly task-force meeting on Friday aims at curbing truck drivers from neighbouring East African countries from spreading the virus.

This was in response to an incident on Wednesday when a Kenyan truck driver who had tested positive to covid-19 was intercepted at Kamdini Trading Center in Oyam District en-route to South Sudan. 

He reportedly entered Uganda through Malaba on April 12 and made contacts with several residents during stopovers on the way, among them 22 people in Lira District that have so far been traced and placed under quarantine.

Jackson Omona, Kitgum LCV Chairperson says the District is a key international route used by many truck drivers to deliver cargo to South Sudan’s Torit state. It connects to Uganda-South Sudan Border point of Musingo in Madi Opei Sub County in Lamwo District.

Omona cited that most truck drivers mainly from Kenya usually spend a night in Kitgum Municipality before crossing into South Sudan.

He suggested that the district ban such cross-border drivers from making stopovers to limit the risk of exposing COVID-19 to locals in case they are positive to the deadly disease.

Geoffrey Oguti, Mucwini Sub County LCV Councillor says banning truck drivers from spending a night, buying goods by the roadside and visiting public places will reduce possibilities of members of the community coming into contact with them. 

William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner also the COVID-19 task-force Chairperson says the resolution will be implemented immediately.

//cue in: “Trucks which are…

Cue out:..well be careful.”//

He notes that the committee has also resolved to have all cargo trucks and pickups operating within the district to park at the designated parking yard opposite Kitgum General Hospital in Central Division for easy monitoring and screening.

Some of the task-force members suggested that security should accompany the truck drivers up to the district border point with Lamwo district to ensure that the directives are achievable in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

But Komakech says the matter will be subject to discussion with security personnel.