Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has released a video to encourage people to keep fit at home under lockdown, after banning outdoor exercise in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
In a two-minute and 25-second video published on Thursday, the 75-year-old appears barefoot in a spacious office with a plush red carpet, wearing a grey tracksuit.
“It’s good to go outdoors when there is no problem, but when there’s a need you can go indoors,” he tells viewers.
“This is just an office. Because I don’t have time, I always do my exercises here or even in my home, in my room.
“So you start by warming up,” he says, before jogging from one end of the room to the other, increasing his pace and making an effort to keep his knees up.
Yesterday, I discouraged people who have been jogging in groups, exposing themselves to risk amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. You do not have to go outdoors to exercise. Here is my demonstration of how you can exercise indoors and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/Ulbj6vGOYQ
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 9, 2020
The head of state then begins to do push-ups, placing his hands on a white towel laid on the floor.
In the background, aides are heard counting 30 push-ups, although the camera cuts away at one point.
Sweating and out of breath, Museveni ends the video by urging people to run in their home compounds.
However, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 71 percent of people living in the capital, Kampala, share a one-roomed home with several others.
On Saturday, the government began food distribution to up to 1.5 million people directly affected by coronavirus lockdown measures.
Uganda has recorded 53 cases of the coronavirus. It has implemented a 14-day lockdown with transport banned and a nighttime curfew. However, people are still allowed to move around on foot in groups of less than five.
The ban on all private and public transportation even applies to medical emergencies, and some mothers in labour have died trying to reach hospitals to give birth.
Museveni has given almost daily briefings on the virus, telling landlords they can “demand their money later”, complaining about security officers who “like beating people” and urging that “this is not the time for exams”.
The president will seek a sixth term in office next year, when he is expected to face a young challenger with his own public pedigree: Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a musician-turned-politician popularly known as Bobi Wine.
Last month, Bobi Wine – known for his politically pointed hits – released a popular reggae song warning about the dangers of coronavirus.