Let’s heed order on quarantine

Wednesday March 25 2020

Measures. Health officials screen travellers on

Measures. Health officials screen travellers on arrivals for coronavirus symptoms at Entebbe airport on March 8. FILE PHOTO 

By Editor

Uganda on Monday night confirmed eight more new cases of COVID19, bringing to 9 the total number of cases in the country all imported.
The cases so far involve Ugandan nationals who flew into the country from Dubai, UAE, previously not flagged among high-risk countries. And there are likely more untested cases out there among us, waiting to explode.

Indeed, this unsuspected source of COVID-19 should warn us that the virus can hit us from least expected quarters.

This is why all persons who travelled to Dubai in the last 14 days should respond to calls by Ministry of Health to voluntarily phone them or present themselves to be tested and ruled out as negative. Or when found positive; to be treated and helped to recover.

Their response will also help trace all others, including families, friends, and neighbours, who could have been exposed to risks of infection and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

For now, the routine updates from the President and Ministry of Health are reassuring. But none of us should lower our guard because cases of COVID-19 infections are rising in our neighbourhood, with Kenya now registering 16, Tanzania 12, and Rwanda 36.

These are all indications that our cases will also go up. But when we act together as required by the set guidelines, we can tame COVID-19 as has happened in China, and South Korea.

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To this effect, we should stop defying the government directives and sneaking out to bars, and places of worship, or have violators punished.

Similarly, travellers from abroad who beat the checks and screening or forced their way out of Entebbe airport and side-stepped the mandatory quarantine, but opted for self-isolation without any rigorous supervision, should be followed, quarantined, closely monitored, and all their contacts traced.

To the rest of us, let us all take personal and collective responsibility and rigorously observe the prevention measures, including routine washing of hands with soap and keeping physical distance.

When we act together, we can defeat COVID-19.

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