As part of the activities to mark his birthday, thousands turn up normally at Lubiri Mengo for the annual Kabaka birthday run that is jointly organized by Airtel Uganda. However, the Coronavirus that has spread to over 80 countries including to three of Uganda’s five neighbors has put the possibility of having this year’s marathon in balance.

Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II will be 65 years old on April 13.   Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga said if by April 5, the situation has not changed, the marathon will be postponed.

“This coronavirus scare comes at a time when we are preparing to celebrate the Kabaka’s birthday on April 13 at Lubaga Cathedral and the marathon on April 5, we are going on with the preparations and I encourage you to buy the kits. However if by that date, the virus has not subsided, we shall not run. The Kabaka will get for us another date on which we shall run,” Mayiga said.

He was optimistic that the virus will soon be defeated, like it is normally for the viruses.

The development comes two days after the Kabaka canceled his planned visit to Kakuuto Sub County in Kyotera district still over concerns of the spread of Coronavirus. The Kabaka was scheduled to visit parts of Kyotera district including the Mutukula border with Tanzania this Friday and Saturday March 20-21.

Mayiga, said basing on the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Uganda, avoiding crowds is one of the ways of limiting the spread of the virus that has ravaged many parts of the world.

“We all know that wherever the Kabaka goes, he’s received by large crowds and it’s almost impossible to screen everybody of the virus. Therefore, it has been decided that this visit be postponed to such a time when it doesn’t put the people who will attend it at risk,” Mayiga said.

The Kabaka’s cancellations come just after a day when Tanzania confirmed one case of Coronavirus. Tanzania joined DR Congo, Kenya and Rwanda in East Africa to confirm the presence of the virus that first broke out in Wuhan China at the end of last year.

Over 170,000 people have so far been infected with the highly contagious virus whereas over 6700 people across the world have lost their lives because of the virus. The highest fatalities have been recorded in China, Italy and Iran. Many countries are under lockdown and have cancelled all events that include large gatherings of people.

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By URN

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