Govt, public must observe Covid SOPs

Sunday October 10 2021
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Business resumes in city arcades after President Museveni lifted the 42-days of lockdown. significant uncertainties continue surrounding the economic outlook of Uganda as the economy emerges from the second lockdown. PHOTO/Michael Kakumirizi

By Guest Writer

Following the outbreak Covid-19 in Uganda in 2020, a lot happened; closure of educational institutions, lockdown, loss of lives and jobs, among others. 

However, with all the uncertainty, people united to fight the deadly pandemic.  International organisations and the common man all donated to the Covid-19 taskforce.  I should say, the pandemic tested our patriotism. 

Meanwhile the President too held countless addresses to instil hope among Ugandans and also encourage them to fight on. He also kept reminding citizens on the prevention measures and with that, we did well in combating the first wave. We didn’t record big numbers of deaths  as even  commissioned emergency spaces such as Namboole remained un utilised. 

Enter 2021,  the second wave thrust itself upon a country that had lowered its guard against the deadly disease. 

Having survived the first wave , we were barely  using facemasks. There was lack of social distancing and many people still partied in big numbers. 

The efforts in the first wave had created a Covid-19 free environment that the populace forgot it was our earlier collective responsibility in fighting the disease that yielded results.  The country started experiencing deaths in tens and  these were known to us.

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Currently, government has eased many lockdown measures  but we are slipping back to old  habits that have dire consequences.  But what can we do better this time considering the lessons from the second wave?

As citizens, it is our duty to keep safe. The disease doesn’t discriminate in race, tribe or colour. 
Our individual contribution to this fight is the most effective and is this simple; mask up, social distance, regularly wash your hands with soap or sanitize.  

Also, the government should relax on implementing  standard operating procedures (SOPs). Security and Health officers should continue emphasizing the need to observe SOPs. While dealing with the second wave, there were concerns regarding the high cost for testing Covid-19. Government should regulate service providers who are extorting the public. 

 Lastly, I would like to applaud the media for playing a crucial role  in the fight against Covid-19. They have offered free airtime on their talk shows, aired messages about SOPs and documented people’s stories for others to find solace and encouragement.   I urge the media to continue with this great work even during this partial lockdown.

Ian Kafuko

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