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Cabinet had “approved the recommendations for reopening educational institutions” to all students, spokesman Dennis Katungi said. Classroom learning was made partially available to a small number of final year graduates in December.

Students doing their final year examinations would return first, with classes for younger learners reopening from 6 April “in a staggered fashion that will ensure compliance” with social distancing measures in schools, Katungi said.

Preschools would remain closed, while universities and other centres of learning would also be reopened in phases. Uganda closed schools in March 2020 as coronavirus spread across East Africa. More than 15 million students were sent home, according to the UN’s children agency UNICEF.

The country has recorded 39,606 cases and 325 deaths from Covid-19, according to the latest health ministry figures, with new infections surging in the latter months of 2020 before tapering off earlier this year.

The government also said it has approved the purchase of 18 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. No date was provided for when these vaccines were expected to arrive in Uganda.


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