To date, there are no cases of the dreaded coronavirus in Uganda even as the COVD-19 disease, which has killed thousands around the world, continues to cause havoc.
According to statistics by worldometer, the cases of coronavirus-related deaths as at March 11, are at 4,300, with 119,247 confirmed cases and 119 affected countries. This has affected business, with local traders now unable to travel to countries such as China to buy merchandise, go for tourism or even sports given the travel bans.
International tournaments, summits and conferences have also been cancelled or suspended because of coronavirus.
Back home, the Ministry of Health is doing a good job in creating awareness and sensitising the country about how to avoid contracting the virus. There is also vigilance at some entry points, including Entebbe Airport.
A story titled, ‘Uganda tells 22 foreigners to return home over coronavirus’ in the Daily Monitor of March 8 tells of how 22 foreign nationals who refused to undergo a 14-day quarantine were sent back to their countries. This is proof of our determination to keep the country safe.
Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people who are taking advantage of the current situation to fleece unsuspecting people of their hard-earned money.
For instance, on Monday, NTV run a news story about a herbalist and his daughter who were selling fake coronavirus vaccine in Mayuge District. Although Saidi Kaire and his daughter Amina Kaire Amina, were eventually arrested, they will not be the last to spread falsehoods in a bid to make quick money. Therefore, we must be vigilant at all times.
In addition, we need to follow precautionary guidelines issued by the Ministry health to avoid contracting the virus.
These include having first aid kits, toilets or pit-latrines with 1 stance for every 20 participants, hand washing facilities, waste management facilities, adequate ventilation with proper air circulation, health desk with health workers to monitor the health safety standards and that all venues should have access to evacuation facilities for sick participants like ambulances.
Fortunately, with the exception of donning face masks, the rest of the stated guidelines are largely basic hygiene practices that nearly everyone should be conversant with.