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Museveni: Schools, entire economy will fully reopen in January

President Museveni Schools

President Yoweri Museveni says schools and the entire economy will reopen next year (PHOTO /File)

President Museveni has said that schools and the entire economy, will by all means, fully reopen in January 2022.

While addressing the nation about Covid-19 situation and other related issues, President Museveni said that all the priority groups must be vaccinated by the end of December so that we open schools and the economy by January.

He defended the long closure of schools— saying that all the complications that come with school closure, like teenage pregnancies, loss of school time, etc., are reversible but said “death is irreversible.”

“Young mothers can go back to school and study. Dead people cannot,” he added.

By December, he said, the country will have received 23 million COVID-19 vaccines.

“We expect that more than 12 million Ugandans will have been vaccinated out of our target of 21 million people.

“As we struggle to develop our own vaccines, vaccines from other sources have been made available.”

Museveni says the government has been able to buy from willing sellers, and has also received donations.

By the beginning of this year, he said, COVID-19 vaccines had been developed in the US, UK, India, China, Russia, etc.

“Even here, we are trying to develop our own vaccine,” he revealed.

“I have told you before that the virus has no legs to walk or wings to fly. This virus is easily preventable.”

Uganda is the only country on the African continent where schools remain fully closed for close to two years despite registering low Covid-19 infections and deaths, according to data by a UN agency.

The data by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) tracks the educational impact of Covid-19 globally and shows that schools in Uganda have been closed for more than 77 weeks, close to 20 months, and counting.

This also makes Uganda the country that has closed schools longest in the world trailed by Nepal (74 weeks), Bolivia (73 weeks). India which has lost more than 452,000 people due to Covid-19 and has a bigger population than the African continent has also cumulatively closed schools for 73 weeks.

Closure of schools in Uganda has implied that more than 15 million learners have been kept home with the attendant effects on their welfare.

Last month, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) noted that school closures have created a shadow crisis for children.

“Beyond falling behind on their education, many children are missing out on school-based meals and routine vaccinations, experiencing social isolation and increased anxiety, and being exposed to abuse and violence. For some, school closures have led to drop out, child labour and child marriage. Many parents have been unable to continue with their employment while balancing their children’s care and learning needs. Some have lost their jobs entirely, pushing their families into poverty and creating a deeper economic crisis,” the Fund says.

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