The President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged Ugandans to stop shaking hands as a precaution to avoid contracting the deadly Coronavirus that is spreading to various countries across the world.
“Now as the Ministry of health guides us, let us take a personal decision not to shake hands unnecessarily or expose ourselves to conditions that will facilitate the spread of Coronavirus,” Mr Museveni said in a statement.
He said Coronavirus which has become a global threat is approaching Africa, with Nigeria and Egypt registering cases.
“Coronavirus is real, it does not kill as much and fast like Ebola, but spreads at a very terrific rate. It undermines economies because it is disruptive and inconvenient. If a country records a case of coronavirus, people will be quarantined, movements limited, businesses, schools, leisure parks closed,” he said.
According to the World Health Organisation figures, more than 2,800 people have died from the virus and 83,000 infections have been confirmed in 54 countries across the world.
China, where the virus originated has the highest cases deaths with 2,794, followed by Iran at 26 and 17 have so far died in Italy.
Mr Museveni said Coronavirus can be a very big inconvenience if it breaks out in Uganda.
“This is an inconvenience to us and jeopardy to our economy, we do not want to head there as a country,” he said, “This means that we must rely heavily on our personal behaviour first, while the Ministry of Health guides us on other measures,”
Mr Museveni said if Coronavirus breaks out in Uganda, it will not be the “biggest we have gone through as a country, we fought Aids by behaviour [change]even before we got medicine”.
He said that whoever has specific symptoms similar to Coronavirus, even as simple as a running nose, should do “self-quarantine from the rest and seek medical guidance and confirmation that you are free from infection”.