What next after 42-day lockdown?

Wednesday July 28 2021
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President Yoweri Museveni June 18 issued fresh directives dominated by measures and restrictions that were used to curb the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in Uganda. PHOTO/FILE/AFP

By Nobert Atukunda

On June 18, President Museveni ordered a 42-day lockdown to curb the rising cases of Covid-19 as the country experienced the second wave of the pandemic.

With just six days left to the end of the lockdown, experts have come out to advise the public on some precautions to take to keep the country from going into a third lockdown.

Top on the list is vaccination. Dr Misaki Wanyegera, the head of the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, said the country needs to vaccinate at least 65 per cent to 80 per cent of the targeted population in order to be safe.

However, Africa is facing a shortage of vaccines. 

On Tuesday, Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, said every opportunity to access vaccines should be granted to Africa so that they are able to save lives and reopen their economies.

 Many of the vaccines used in the continent are a donation from other countries and the Covax initiative of the World Health Organisation.

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Dr Wanyegera said other measures to focus on are expanding and decentralising testing, put in place measures to mitigate transmission at workplaces, and plan for better response to future pandemics.

Dr Charles Olaro, the director curative services at Ministry of Health, said whereas it’s the responsibility of government to protect citizens, Ugandans should should also take care of themselves to prevent them from getting Covid-19.

 “The bottom line is that each of us must be responsible. If now you don’t take it seriously you bring infection home, you may survive, but your loved ones may die. What would it have benefited?” Dr Olaro said.

However, Mr Musitafa Mayambala, the chairperson of Uganda Transport Development Agency, said government needs to revise earlier Covid measures and make sure they are implemented.

“Government is responsible for protecting the people. Now the numbers have reduced but for many taxi drivers, the situation is bad. We have not yet received the relief fund yet we have to pay for parking feed our families. So let government revise earlier measures, but open us,” Mr Mayambala said yesterday.

Mr Mayambala added that there is also need for taxi drivers and the entire public to observe SOPs put in place by the Health ministry.

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As of July 20, Uganda registered a cumulative of 91,355 Covid cases with 2,483 deaths and 71,750 recoveries. More than 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered.

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