Jinja – An investor of South African origin, Billy Thiart on Sunday, March 22 survived lynching by residents of Kyabirwa village in Budondo sub-county, Jinja district.
This followed his alleged Facebook post where he boasted of having arrived through Entebbe airport without being quarantined for coronavirus.
South Africa is Africa’s second most infected country with over 274 coronavirus cases after Egypt which has 294 confirmed cases. Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng recently announced a mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers.
“We landed at 3:00 am this morning from South Africa via Ethiopia at Entebbe. Temperature check and a form to fill in. No quarantine mentioned,” reads his Facebook post in part.
Aloysius Musisi, a resident says that Billy’s actions of taking health issues lightly and recklessly could not be tolerated by his own neighbours.
“I am Billy’s neighbour and I alerted the local leadership after landing on his careless statement, it shocked me that, if he was infected, the whole village would suffer,” he says.
Also Twaha Kisubi, the area LC I chairperson says that he read the Facebook post and notified health workers to ensure Billy is quarantined. After noticing criticism from his neighbours, Billy quickly deleted his social media accounts claiming that the message had been posted by someone else.
“I couldn’t write such, the message was posted by other people and not me,” he says.
A team of health workers led by the district health officer, Dyogo Nantamu, examined Billy and recommended a 14-day quarantine. Nantamu told journalists that, Billy’s temperature levels were normal but he will be quarantined in a hotel of his choice where they can easily monitor him.
Meanwhile, the Kiira region deputy police commander, Onesmus Mwesigwa says that they have established a 24/7 security and medical team to ensure that, Billy complies with the self-quarantine guidelines.
“We rushed to rescue a gentleman by the names of Billy Thiart, the man operates a business called Nile River Camp. We rushed to rescue him after locals mobbed and surrounded his business camp, a tourist place suspecting him of having coronavirus. When we got in touch with the authorities the medical team and security at the airport were informed but they said he had been cleared, he’d been screened and advised to undergo self-quarantine in his home.” said Mwesigwa.
This is a second similar case in Uganda where a foreign has survived lynching after being suspected by locals of having coronavirus.
A Kenyan national on Friday survived being lynched on allegations that he had entered Uganda through the Busia border without being screened for coronavirus. The Kenyan national whose identities have been withheld by police, is a hawker from Nampirika village in Nampirika sub-county, Iganga district in eastern Uganda. He left Uganda early last week and returned on Friday this week.
His neighbours, however, surrounded his house and tasked him to explain whether he was under quarantine and started mercilessly beating him. He managed to flee to Iganga central police station for safe custody. Kenya currently has 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus while Uganda one single confirmed case.
Sayyid Mukoti, the village chairperson says that the Kenyan was coughing and spitting profusely, but declined to seek medication attention, forcing residents to become suspicious.
Symptoms of coronavirus include dry cough, fever and breathing difficulties. The virus is spread when one touches a contaminated surface and then touches their face. The virus can also be transmitted to another person if they inhale air droplets of sneezing or coughing patient.
Numbers to call in case you get coronavirus symptoms of dry cough, fever and shortness in breathing.
- Dr Allan Mauruta +256 772460297
- Dr Kagirita Atek +256 782909153
- Government Line1 +256 800203033
- Government Line2 +256 800100066