More companies have scaled down their operations, sending a huge chunk of staff home in a delicate balance to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the country’s statistics agency, has suspended all field activities and sent home all the staff below the principal level.

The agency has also closed all the liaison offices except the Mbarara and Gulu ones that will remain with just two staff each.

In a statement, the agency said staff salaries will be paid during the period.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary says it will be closed for the public until the end of April 2020, according to the company’s notice.  Uganda Wildlife Authority has suspended Primate Tourism and research meaning staff in these activities will take a break.

Think tank Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and Insurance dealer AAR have also told staff to work from home.

Several hotels, according to different sources, have closed some of their operations. Serena Hotel Kampala has closed its Mist Bar section until further notice while Serena hotel Kigo has sent all staff home due to low businesses, according to a staff member.

On Wednesday, Uganda confirmed 14 cases of Covid-19. The public has been advised to stay home and avoid congested places. The virus has become the biggest disruption of the business world over expected to cut economies’ growths by huge margins.

In a recent presentation at an event hosted by Knight Frank, Stephen Ineget, the managing director of audit firm KPMG Uganda said people should expect unprecedented disruption to the flow of business.

Uganda Revenue Authority has granted extensions on tax payment timelines and said it would forgive all penalties on the companies that submit late returns until things return to normalcy.

Businesses that have closed or asked staff to work from home indicate they expect normal operations at least by the start of May.

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By URN

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