COVID-19

#covid19 cases on a steady rise in Uganda: what next?

The confirmed #coronavirus confirmed cases in Uganda stand at 116 as of 10th May 2020. The good news is fifty-five (55) people have fully recovered. The good news is there are no #covid19 related death recorded.

There has been a steady increase in the reported cases since lockdown was eased. This is worrying, as many people would like to go back to work. As indicated in Figures 1 and 2, there were 48 confirmed cases as of 3rd April 2020. The cases increased to 85 by 2nd May 2020. That was an increase by 37 new cases over 29 days, indicating more than one new case per day, to be precise 1.3 cases or 1 new case per day, with eight days recording two new cases. This was during a restrictive lockdown period.

However, between 2nd May and 10th May, the recorded new #covid19 cases in Uganda have increased exponentially by 31 cases in just eight days. That is almost 4 new cases per day. All new cases are due to long-distance Truck drivers.

My take:

  1. A more robust strategy to manage the risk of truck drivers must be developed. The fact that these people are always on the move from border to border, throughout the country worsens the risk profile. The challenge is that one new case could wipe out all the achievements attained over the past two months of lockdown.
  2. As I see it, the economic risk is more urgent than the covid19 risk. Many people are suffering from too much worry about what to eat next, how to survive, and the future. Hopelessness is more deadly than #covid19. The fact that Uganda is yet to register any #covid19 related death, a more sustainable strategy must be devised.
  3. Covid19 has come and is not ready to leave now. The best way to manage the pandemic is to integrate it than avoid it through the lockdown. Strict policies and directives for social distancing, wearing face musts, and improved personal hygiene at all public places must be enforced. No one solves a problem by running from it. Problems are solved by confronting them. After all, the covid19 pandemic still ranks low in the leading killers globally. And the fact that the mortality rate is still below 7.2% on average, it is still manageable.

The lockdown should be lifted. Progress is better than stagnation.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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