The Minister for health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has warned that with the impending complacency manifested by the Ugandan plight in urban centres, another resurgence of the virus is predictable.
Acheng made a revelation during a ‘Free face masks’ flag off event, where she accused Ugandans of flouting the standard operating procedures of social distancing and negligence of masks among others.
Her appeal comes at a time when the country is undergoing a phased relaxation of the lockdown. “We’ve observed that people have continued to ignore calls for observing health guidelines. Majority go to public places without masks,” Aceng was quoted saying. “We will advise the president to impose another lockdown till Ugandans learn to respect health rules,” she added.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni during a scientific heroes day celebrations said that he has played his part in containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and can no longer take the blame if Ugandans start dying due to “carelessness”.
Museveni said people have not died in Uganda because initially, his directives were followed to the letter which led to a few people being hospitalized. He however said with the ever-rising numbers which currently stand at 657, it might be very hard to stop deaths.
His caution comes amid an increased number of COVID-19 community cases reported by the Ministry of Health coupled with the laxity amongst the population, the majority of whom have ignored advice to maintain social distance, wear face masks or even stay at home. Despite the increase in cases, the city is crowded and the streets are filled up.
“Those who were healed were healed because the numbers in the treatment centres were few and the doctors could concentrate on them. I appeal to you Ugandans for those whose activities we have opened up, observe the social distance, I beg you for the sake of yourself. Keep the distance, put on the mask don’t go in public without a mask.”
“The mask is not very comfortable but medicine apart from that of children is bitter,” Museveni said as he presided over the National Heroes Day celebrations at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday.
He added that he is disturbed by images of Ugandans disregarding all the preventive measures against the coronavirus.
Museveni said although his ministry of health officials were planning for health facilities with 9000-bed capacity, he advised them to plan for 40,000-bed capacity and that places like Namboole stadium are being prepared to treat a big number of people if cases continue to rise. He warned, “if the numbers are too big, then they will overwhelm even the big place we have prepared.”
“Today, we are confronted by an enemy worse than the war of bullets that we fought. It is a biological war and the value of discipline cannot be over-emphasised. Without a cure or vaccine for Covid-19, it is our personal discipline that matters most,” he said.
The president added that Ugandan scientists are in advanced stages of looking for a coronavirus vaccine. He however cited corruption as the biggest impediment to the process. “Parasites go to hell; I’m really tired of those people who don’t care about the country but themselves,” Museveni said.