Last week, Uganda registered its first two confirmed Covid-19 deaths. The first, a 34-year-old woman from Namisindwa District in eastern Uganda, died on July 21 at a clinic in Mbale District. The second was an 80-year-old woman, who died on Sunday, July 26 at Mengo Hospital in Kampala.
A few days earlier, the President had held his 19th Covid-19 update to the nation where he announced further easing of Covid-19 measures. Among others, boda boda operators were allowed to carry passengers, salons were opened and curfew hours was shortened and meant to start at 9pm and end at 5.30am.
The government says even with the easing of some of the measures, people should continue to observe standard operating procedures (SOPs). Sadly, the increasing complacency among Ugandans is worrying. For instance, boda boda operators and their passengers continue to flaunt the SOPs.
Many of them do not wear facemasks, many riders carry more than one passenger, and the idea of having a record of passengers or providing hand sanitisers, among others, seems to be taken lightly. In a number of shopping centres such as arcades and other shops in downtown Kampala, social distancing is non-existent.
Many taxi operators are increasingly disregarding the half-capacity directive and are seen carrying 14 or more passengers. The urge to wear masks is slowly fading. Some bars have been operating illegally with revellers mixing freely. Worse still, political activities, including campaigns, do not make the situation any better.
Despite confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections and deaths, there are people within the public, who still believe that coronavirus is not real, hence they throw all caution to the wind.
We are in a hurry to resume doing things and enjoy our life as we knew it before Covid-19. We ignore people who advise us against our reckless behaviour. We mind more about our businesses, property than our lives.
The sad reality is that in doing all this, we become our own enemies. It is absurd that after about four months of following health guidelines such as social distancing, sanitising, wearing masks and staying home, all this could go to waste due to the recklessness, of some people, a move that may escalate infections and even lead to more death.
Do not wait for police, a health worker, or any other person to compel you to wear a mask when you are in a public place, to practice social distancing, use a sanitiser, or wash your hands with water and soap.
Recovering livelihood and making up for losses incurred during the lockdown, can only be achieved when we are alive. Therefore, always remember to stay safe.
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