Faced with skyrocketing Covid-19 cases, Uganda is taking tough action

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday, June 6, ordered the closure of schools and the suspension of non-essential travel between areas in an attempt to stem the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Schools will be closed Monday for six weeks, and most gatherings are prohibited, with the exception of weddings and small committee funerals.

Starting Thursday, only emergency, tourist or cargo vehicles will be allowed to move from one area to another (there are 135 in the country), and the curfew from 9:00 pm to 5:30 am remains until mid-July. Most shops and markets remain open subject to government sanitation regulations, but bars remain closed.

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Uganda, which took decisive action to combat the Covid-19 epidemic back in March 2020, is relatively free of the virus. But in recent weeks, the number of infections and the number of serious cases has increased. “The proportion of severe or critical cases due to Covid-19, as well as deaths in this wave is greater than in the first”– said Mr. Museveni.

The head of state explained that the country had recorded as many severe and critical cases of Covid-19 in two weeks as in a period of three to four months during the first wave. To date, 52,935 cases of the disease have been registered in the country, including 383 deaths. But the number of tests carried out is small, and these numbers are most likely not true.

The Ministry of Health recently announced that all intensive care beds and highly dependent patient beds in the country are already occupied. As in many African countries, immunization is progressing very slowly: only 750,000 people received one dose (35,000 received two doses) in a country of about 45 million people.

Peace with AFP

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