Joseph Nyeko, a cross border fuel dealer in Elegu explains that business is continuing normally without any interference as long as one puts on a face mask, sanitizes hands and observes social distancing rules.
Business continues to boom at Elegu Township in Amuru District,
Uganda’s border point of entry into neighbouring South Sudan despite the lockdown
instituted to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
There is an influx of cargo truckers delivering goods to Juba
while security officials; police backed by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces –
UPDF enforce standard operating procedures as hundreds of people cross from
Nimule border in South Sudan to Elegu.
Joseph Nyeko, a cross border fuel dealer in Elegu explains that
business is continuing normally without any interference as long as one puts on
a face mask, sanitizes hands and observes social distancing rules.
Lilly Adokorach, a food vendor at Elegu Market says they despite the
Presidential directive to ban inter-district travels, they have since continued
to receive South Sudanese buyers from Nimule and Juba.
Elegu border was the epitome of COVID-19 transmissions recording
up to 35,000 confirmed cases of the virus throughout 2020. This primarily was
because of the influx of long-distance cargo drivers delivering goods to South
Robert Onekalit, in charge of Elegu Port Health says there are too
many movements among the cross border community of the two East African
Countries which undermines the control of the spread of the global virus.
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Onekalit disclosed that while most truck drivers arrive at the
border after they have been tested, their worry is among the border community
where surveillance and risk communication have not been adequately conducted
due to staff shortage.
The Amuru District Health Officer Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo
disclosed to URN that the border is open to free entry and exit though under
strict observance of standard operating procedures.
He said other travellers are being tested by Test & Fly, a
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The Amuru Resident District Commissioner who also doubles as the District Task
Force Chairperson for COVID-19, Geoffrey Oceng Osborn says regulating the
movement of cross border community is difficult because they survive on Elegu
market for essential needs.
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According to the Ministry of Health latest update with the current
spike in transmissions, Uganda has cumulatively registered 55,511 cases since
April 2020 and 383 deaths so far.
In comparison, in South Sudan, from 3 January 2020 to 11
June 2021, there have been 10,688 confirmed cases of COVID-19
with 115 deaths, reported to The World Health Organization - WHO. As
of 9 June 2021, a total of 11,889 vaccine doses have been