MPs call for tight restrictions as Uganda neighbours register more cases of Coronavirus
During a special sitting at Parliament on Monday 15th, March 2020, MPs from Uganda tasked government to tighten Coronavirus restrictions to save the country from any possible outbreak.
MPs were concerned that Uganda is not doing enough to prevent Coronavirus particularly on its border points as Rwanda and Kenya moves to close its borders in the next 48 hours after registering more cases of COVID-19.
“If one case is reported in Uganda and Kenya closes its border, let me tell you we will not have to announce that there will be panic, it will happen by its self,” Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kiira Municipality legislator said.
Legislators suggest that government takes up preventative measures instead of waiting for the catastrophe to happen like in the case of China were at the initial stages of the disease was that kind of stay calm and the disease went out of control.
Legislators from the border constituencies with Kenya raised concern that hand sanitizers and masks are very expensive including border points that are not well manned in addition to several porous borders which needs immediate attention because it could increase the risk of the virus outbreak in the country.
Particularly in Amudat, Moroto and Kaabong Districts that border Kenya.
Meanwhile, the State Minister for Finance David Bahati informed the House that on Thursday this week, they will address the country on how Coronavirus has affected the economy of the country.
However, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga informed the House that there’s a possibility of getting an antidote for the Coronavirus.
“A professor who manufactured the treatment for Coronavirus in the US was here last week and within a fortnight the treatment will be available on the market here in Uganda,” Kadaga said.
Currently, Coronavirus has negatively impacted on Ugandan traders and the country may soon experience a shortage and increase in prices of building materials and other essential commodities because traders are unable to import items from China due to the outbreak.
And the fuel prices in the country might be affected after Kenya announced that it will be closing its borders in the next 48 hours given the fact it’s the major import route for Uganda.
The COVID-19 has almost spread to the whole world and is now considered a global pandemic. It has managed to affect Uganda’s neighbouring countries that include, DR. Congo Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Ministry of Health has since passed guidelines to be followed by all areas of mass gatherings including the presence of hand sanitizers and some instances screening. And according to the Ministry, they are very much prepared to fight the disease in case of an outbreak.
At Entebbe International Airport, vigorous screening is a prerequisite; travellers are taken through multiple hand sanitization procedures and temperature checks as they enter Uganda through Entebbe Airport.
Screening and hand sanitization procedures with adherence to the Ministry of Health regulations have been effected in all public gatherings around the country.
Vincent Seruma, Head Public and Corporate Affairs, Uganda Revenue Authority revealed that the authority has multiple measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus in their offices throughout the country.
“We have the sanitizers which we encourage our staff and our taxpayers and members of the public to make sure that they can sanitize themselves when they are coming in. we have also staged our major public gatherings events to make sure that they do not expose members of public not even our staffs,” Seruma said.
COVID-19 infections have increased outside China and now Europe becomes the epicentre of the disease that started in the Wuhan City of China.
Globally, 7,100 deaths of Coronavirus have been registered, 181,000 people contracted the virus and almost half of them have recovered from the disease while the vast majority of cases remain mild.
In America, more than 4,500 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 88 have died.
In Africa, Egypt registered 150 cases and two deaths only, Algeria 54 cases confirmed and now only four deaths, Burkina Faso 15 cases confirmed and no death.
While in East African region, 5 cases registered in Rwanda and no death, a case in Tanzania, a case in DRC, Kenya, Somalia has registered a case but no death and case not yet registered in Uganda and Burundi.