Reignite fight against Covid-19

Sunday August 2 2020



In China and Europe, the worry is about a second wave of Covid-19, which some fear could be worse than the first. In the Americas, Covid-19 is running riot, just as it is doing in many countries in Africa.

Back home, the fight is now devoid of energy. There is limited compliance with the preventive measures that the government has handed out over the months. Voices that downplay the threat that Covid-19 poses can be heard at random, and vigilance levels can be heard all over the place.

Official figures show that three people have died of Covid-19 within Uganda, and just more than 1,000 persons have been found to be positive with the virus that causes Covid-19. Given what has happened elsewhere, with the disease having killed more than 680,000 and more than 17.7m having tested positive worldwide, we can count ourselves lucky.

But, going by what is transpiring, we are stretching our luck too far. And the government has a big responsibility to bear on this.
One of the key weapons that has been used against the spread of the coronavirus is the face mask.

All government spokespeople have stressed this for so long. And the government, through President Museveni, has promised provide a face mask for every Ugandan.
Mr Museveni made this promise as he pondered reopening public transport more than a month ago.

In fact, he said public transport would delay for two more weeks as the face masks were being circulated so that by the time of reopening everyone would not have any excuse for not putting on a mask.


Public transport was eventually reopened, and other sectors have been progressively reopened too, including shopping malls and arcades.

The government is under pressure to reopen churches, and the President has said that they will make a big decision on whether to reopen schools, a decision which he said would be made this month.

The scary thing is that with the country now almost completely reopened, most people show up in public without face masks. Some cannot afford them perhaps, others just don’t care.

The government perhaps has no moral authority to enforce the wearing of face masks as it stands, because if it had considered it such a big priority, it would have provided the masks as promised.

The Ministry of Health says the government has not provided the money for the acquisition of the masks, and so they have only supplied masks in a few high-risk border districts. That there is no money for masks tells you where in the government’s priorities that item ranks.

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