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Museveni: We will not rush to lift lockdown restrictions

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President Museveni has has said that the lockdown has helped to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and the country should not rush into reopening (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA —President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday July 8 at Kololo Independence Grounds said that Uganda should not rush to lift coronavirus-related restrictions, warning that any haste in removing preventative measures could undo their work so far.

“The problem is not the virus, it is us! We are the ones carrying the virus, it does not carry itself,” the President who presided over the swearing in ceremony of the 15 ministers who missed out last month said.

The President said with discipline,” we could have avoided the second wave completely but because of indiscipline, this pushed the number of deaths from 200 dead people from the beginning to the current almost 2000″.

“That is why we had to launch another lockdown. From what I’m hearing, this is already slowing down the spread. In Cabinet, they told me that the lockdown is working. It is doing wonders for us in stopping the virus”.

“Before, when they check 100 people for corona, 17 would be having the virus. But now because of the lockdown, when they check 100, only 8-10 people are positive. It has already worked. The logic is, freeze where you are! Do not move except for categories we allowed including cargo, security, medical etc,” he said.

Mr. Museveni said they are working very hard to import vaccines.

“Vaccines are not in short supply but are shared badly. Some people want to solve their problems first before they look at ours. It’s not Christian, but now we know that people who say they are Christians are not… and it’s a good lesson. That’s why we are working very had to develop our own vaccines. We shall either bring investors to produce vaccines here or develop our own vaccines. Some of our scientists are working on therapeutics. They have used some indigenous knowledge, which is abundant to get items that seem to be curing some of these people. But we shall confirm that and announce formally and funding these people,” he said.

He said the country can exploit the pathogenic economy to get more money.

“You can make money dealing with germs than growing coffee, bananas, or cows. People who specialize in germs and health etc get a lot of money, much more than coffee and cattle. We are learning now and are going to make money from germs,” he said.

The President said that it was unfortunate they did not exploit the ebola pandemic to get a vaccine.

“I was very angry with these people. We were the ones who started with ebola here in the world. Ebola is ours. How is it that other people made a vaccine for ebola when we are just sitting here! We are really waking up and fortunately we have educated a lot of our young people. They really, if helped, there is nothing they can not do. We shall defeat the corona,” he said.

He appealed to Ugandans to stop the arguments and be advised to follow the science.

“Be patient. Don’t rush around and don’t panic. This is not like AIDs which is not easy to cure. With corona, even the body can defeat it without medicine ..and with medicines many can be cured and it can be avoid,” he said.

The Ministry of Health data shows that the number of infections stood at 85,581 with hospital active cases reaching 1,072.

Uganda has so far recorded 2,033 coronavirus-related deaths.

Early this week, the National Planning Authority (NPA), the development planning arm of Ugandan Government projected that the Uganda’s coronavirus cases curve is still raising and it will most likely reach a peak in the middle of July.

Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the NPA Executive Director said the new projection implies that in mid-July, the COVID-19 infections will be reaching the maximum peak.

Despite the current lockdown measures, Dr. Muvawala said the new model projections indicate a continuing rise in new cases but slightly lower than the previous week averaging 1,037 new cases per day.

“The model is projecting a total of 7,259 new cases for the week of 27th June to 3rd July 2021 and 7,214 for 4th to 10th July. Internal factors are the dominant contributors of new cases in the country and in this case includes the effectiveness of lockdown measures, capacity of the health systems, population structure in terms of age & underlying conditions, population density, access to health services, among others, ” he said.

In the week of June 12th to 19th June, he said the model projected 10,144 cases, and the actual reported cases were 9,926.

In the week of June 20th to 26th, the model projected 10,468 new cases and the actual reported cases were 7,329.

He said the model was developed as a result of a research collaboration between NPA and Pennsylvania State University (with funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA), which is aimed at determining the causes of neonatal mortality in Uganda.

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