Partial lockdown is justified

Wednesday June 09 2021
letterpix
By Guest Writer

We can blame President Museveni for anything but not his decision to put Uganda under a partial lockdown again. Many people are dying of Covid-19 and something needs to be done urgently.

 Personally, I think we are back to square one, partly, because most Ugandans have never taken the disease seriously. Here in the UK, our prime minister thought the same -- As much of a tosser Dominic Cummings is, he revealed some very interesting things recently that Boris Johnson thought the same as Donald Trump it’s just a flu. Boris also hates lockdowns, and that’s why he kept doing them too late.

 Lockdowns are okay but don’t help in the long term. That is why I think the government should use the 42 days of lockdown to vaccinate most people. Vaccination and surge testing has helped us here in the UK so much.Yes, there have been huge hotspots for the Indian variant in Bolton, Manchester and Bedford, but cases are now dropping rapidly in these areas due to surge in vaccinations. Most unvaccinated people here are young-- so unlikely to result in hospitalisations. Most vulnerable people are now fully vaccinated and vaccinations in the younger age groups are at a good pace. Unless somethingdramatic happens, I see no reason for deviating from the plan to lift restrictions on June 21.

 The crowds in the January General Election campaigns did a lot ofdamage as young people were moving from one place to the other in big numbers. So, the Uganda government should embark on huge campaign to vaccinate younger people.

The reason for vaccinating children is not to reduce Covid-19 related deaths of children, it’s to reduce cases and therefore transmission and future mutations (mutations which could escape the vaccine). In the UK, children are currently responsible for more than 20 per cent of all Covid-19 cases. The vaccine limits transmission by up to 90 per cent.  If we want to prevent future waves from both current and future variants, vaccinating a proportion of society that is responsible per capita for more transmission than any other age group surely makes sense.

 Another reason is to protect clinically vulnerable children and adults. People with sickle cells, diabetes, HIV, etc, are so vulnerable to the disease.  Covid-19 also causes long-term side effects (in many cases lifelong multi organ damage) in children who contract Covid-19, so it’s hardly safe for kids to catch it!  Vaccinations can prevent a massive amount of unnecessary suffering in children (and when they grow up). Yet the vaccine data for 12–16-year-olds on the Pfizer trial proved 100 per cent effective and safe! Better than the adult data.

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 Lastly, Ugandans should take the standard operating procedures seriously, vaccinated or not. I read somewhere on Timothy Kalyegira’s Facebook page that people remove masks, or wear them around their necks, as soon as they get into taxis – I found this sad. A friend in Kangulumira, Buikwe District, told me that one of the ways they know that someone is going to Kampala is when they see a mask on his face. Here in the UK, there have been so few flu cases over the last year simply because of social distancing, clean hands and masks. Flu needs contact to spread via coughing, sneezing, handshakes etc. Covid-19 is airborne. So,observe the SOPs.  

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba 

abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com


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