On Thursday, Uganda marked one year since the COVID-19 outbreak. Along the tough journey the country has lost 334 Ugandans in the battle against the novel Coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health, however, notes that the country has kept the worst of the pandemic at bay so that active registered cases now stand at 31.
On the 18th of March year 2020, Uganda confirmed its first case of covid19, a day to remember when the hearts of many Ugandans froze. Quickly the ministry of health and the government of Uganda devised means that saw President Yoweri Museveni close all education institutions to curb the spread of the virus.
Twelve days later, stricter measures which included 14 days lockdown were announced by President Museveni including a ban on all public transport.
The health ministry began educating the public on how to protect itself from the virus. Among the suggested measures while out in public were SOPS (Standard Operating Procedures). Key among them, maintaining a three metre social distance and washing hands with soap or sanitiser whenever opportunity arose.
One year later, how are Ugandans coping?
Christine Nakandi says, “At the beginning, as Ugandans, we were very serious about the awareness and the spread against Covid but along the way we lost track. I think we are in trouble if we don’t redouble our efforts. I hope the vaccination goes well, that is our chance to stop the virus.”
Ndemeire Aron Kashaija, who has lived in Kampala for the last 30 years says that Covid could not have come at a worse time as many Ugandans were already suffering economically.
“I have been in kampala here for 30 years but let me tell you, Uganda was attacked by Covid when most Ugandans income status was poorer than ever especially low-income earners. They were terribly hit. But what do we learn from it? Prepare for what is coming ahead and be alert,” Ndemeire says.
To the ministry of health, it has been a tough battle where 43,306 are total number of registered cases with 334 deaths and 31 active cases to date as minister Robinah Nabbanja reveals
“Today we have 31 cases following the 7 confirmed cases in Masaka on Tuesday, increasing from 19 when the president addressed the nation on 14th March 2021. The total confirmed cases now stand at 43,303 cases with 334 deaths registered” Nabbanja told Nile Post.
With the importation of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine and innovations of locally made COVID-19 antibody rapid test kits by Makerere University scientists as well as survey in 102 districts on the people with antibodies, Minister Nabbanja is still hopeful that we shall return to normalcy.
“I am certain that since we have the vaccine and intend 65% target of the population to be vaccinated particularly medical workers, teachers so that our children can return to school. Yes, the COVID-19 test kits made by Makerere scientists will help to reduce the costs of screening and tests for COVID-19,” Hon. Robina Nabbanja concluded.
The future remains uncertain but Ugandans remain hopeful.