Uganda’s timely #covid19 Presidential Directives delivering results

The Easter holidays are always the highlight of the first half of the year. Four days of uninterrupted festivities – from Good Friday to

The Easter holidays are always the highlight of the first half of the year. Four days of uninterrupted festivities – from Good Friday to Easter Monday. Regardless of your employment status, or affiliations religions or otherwise, it is difficult to miss the Easter holidays.  Many believers in Jesus Christ fast for 40 days, which are followed with heightened festivities and celebrations on Easter Sunday for the risen Lord – the foundation of Christianity.

Usually, the celebrations are so intense that all hotels get full bookings. And the nightlife is at its peak – very loud music blaring in the highest decibels. At my home located about one kilometer from the trading center, my Apple Watch ear health app keeps warning about the high decibel levels of the music from out “which makes me give up fresh air” by closing the windows to reduce the nightlife music noise! Sometimes the DJ’s selection is so good that we sleep on it!

Over the years, we got used to this kind of noise. It is what makes city life, after all.

But this year has been different.

Easter found the world under lockdown as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. From the United States to Europe, from Asia to UAE, from Africa’s cities to the villages, Easter found all of us indoors. They say many businesses are ‘born’ and transformed on Easter. Not this year.  Only the lucky dealers in the food market had something to sell.

In Uganda, we are all waiting when the lockdown directives shall be lifted. Life at home has been great as it helped us to connect with our close families. Take note of the broken chairs. The aging television. And the take a deeper review of the children’s reports and books. It has been a period of family discovery.

We know coronavirus is very dangerous in any community due to its ability to overwhelm health facilities and leverage from poverty and the underlying health conditions of the people it infects. The best strategy to manage coronavirus pandemic is to stop its spread by keeping social distance to achieve what experts have called “flattening the curve.” Uganda’s President, General Y.K. Museveni, has called this “scattering the dry grass to reduce the intensity of the fires.” HE Museveni made timely interventions by issuing several directives aimed at scattering the dry grass including but not limited to stay at home and lockdown of the non-essential services and businesses.

And to tighten security countrywide, the President issued directives concerning curfew hours – no one apart from specified security personnel allowed to move between 7 pm to 6:30 am daily until the curfew is lifted.

Easter Sunday came with good news concerning coronavirus fight – four of the 54 people reported as infected tested negative of the virus, implying that they had fully recovered from the virus. And another 11 cases who had tested positive, were due to be released from the national institutional quarantine centers back to their homes as they too had tested negative after three consecutive tests. This is great news. Even better, Uganda has not registered any death due to #coronavirus.

I thank the President for his steady leadership and the Ministry of Health team and all the frontline staff who have been working tirelessly to manage this monster virus. We know the lockdown shall finally come to an end. The sooner the better. The way Mr. Museveni has handled this covid19 challenge has made me appreciate his leadership mantra of steady progress – now I know what that means – slow but sure. Now we are waiting for Presidential directives to support small businesses and entrepreneurs back to work.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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