Scientists have asked President Museveni to delay the full reopening of the economy for another 14 days to avoid the possible risks of increased infections from the Omicron Covid variant.
Museveni seemed not to buy in on the recommendation but we shall return to this later. Read on.
The president and Robinah Nabbanja Covid taskforce on Monday met at his country home in Rwakitura before they presented him with the status report on the Covid situation in the country. This was meant to inform the way forward on reopening of the economy.
Nile Post contacted Dr. Monica Musenero a member of the taskforce but also the Minister for Science and Technology for a comment over the matter , she could neither confirm, nor deny because she was rushing for a meeting.
“You Nile Post people I am still in a meeting. Call me back later,”Musenero said.
According to sources privy to the meeting, the scientists told the president that it would be too early for the economy to be reopened in January as he had promised when a small number of the population has been fully vaccinated.
“For the scientists and some members of the Covid taskforce insisted on president delaying the reopening for more weeks to allow a sizeable number of the population be vaccinated before the economy can fully reopen,” the source told the Nile Post without divulging more details.
The Health Minister, Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng last week said that only 3.4 million translating into 15% of the targeted 22 million people have been fully vaccinated against Covid whereas 9.1million translating into 44% have taken the first jab.
According to scientists, this is still a small percentage of the targeted population and hence the need for a delay in reopening to allow a sizeable number get fully vaccinated.
The team told the president that it would be disastrous to reopen now when a small number is fully vaccinated and advised that he delays for at least two weeks within which the people will get vaccinated.
While the president asked to study the report further so as to make a conclusive way forward , he reminded the committee of the promise he had earlier made to Ugandans that the economy would be fully reopened in January.
It appeared the president was between a hard place and a rock to go against his words
According to the source, the president’s body language pointed to reopening of the country fully.
“At the end of the day president seems to be for opening without being very committal,” another reliable source informed us.