Dr Atwine on Wearing masks
Dr Atwine revealed that wearing masks will be compulsory to guard Ugandans

Dr Atwine revealed that wearing masks will be compulsory to guard Ugandans until the country is declared COVID-19 free.

Now as the 21 lockdown days nears the end, Uganda’s health experts have started drafting parameters that will guide the country while lifting the lockdown.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine in an interview with NBS Television revealed that wearing masks will be compulsory to guard Ugandans against COVID-19 infections until the country is announced COVID-19 free.

“You know when we ease the lockdown, we are going to see many pour on the streets, some people will not be social distancing, naturally people don’t listen, even if we talk, even if we scream, some people will still not listen. So, people will go carelessly all over the place, so the best way is to make sure that we have these masks,” Atwine said.

However, Dr Atwine says that Ugandans don’t have to wear the expensive M95 surgical masks as a simple piece of cloth modelled as a mask, can work better.

“We want people to use cloth masks because this one is disposable, I cannot use it and put it on tomorrow, I just use and throw it away. That’s why they get finished very very first,” Atwine said.

Dr Atwine on Wearing masks
Dr Atwine revealed that wearing masks will be compulsory to guard Ugandans

Relatedly, the Ministry of Health will be deploying a team of experts at Mutukula border to round up Tanzanian nationals who have entered the country through porous borders.

Meanwhile, The Health Ministry is bitter with illegal tendencies by motorists of using pregnant women to get COVID-19 emergency stickers to evade security interception.

As a result, the State Minister for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu warns that whoever is involved in the act should stop.

“People who want to use the mothers like tickets and stickers, they should please have conscious, but if somebody is using you to go and do his business and take you back please let your conscious disturb you, search you’re conscious and stop such manners,” Kaducu said.

The warning comes as the Ministry rolls out immunization of children against preventable diseases like Rubella and Yellow fever.

“Not everybody will come at one day or at one time, people have schedules according to the age of the child, according to the appointment. So, that’s the plan we have,” Kaducu said.

“We did not want to see problems after COVID-19, if we don’t handle immunization properly, after COVID-19 we are going to see a lot of outbreak of other preventable diseases like measles and maybe others. That’s why we are emphasizing the need to adhere with the vaccination schedules,” Kaducu adds.

Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI) Programs Manager, Dr Alfred Driwale says as soon as schools resume, they will make sure that they cover up the vaccinations missed in April.

“And children who should have been vaccinated in April, they have missed that vaccination. So, we will do catch up the campaign as soon as the schools start to ensure that we update the vaccination status of every child who was due,” Driwale said.

During the 2019 mass immunization against measles Rubella, at least 19.4m children were immunized out of the18.1m children targeted.

Uganda COVID-19 updates

Uganda’s confirmed cases of coronavirus increased to 81 after two more people tested positive for COVID-19 disease.

The confirmed cases are a Ugandan male aged 24 and a 21 Burundian refugee, both contacts of the first Burundian refugee confirmed case according to Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General Health Services.

“They are under quarantine at Rakai Hospital,” Mwebesa said.

Mwebesa says all the 1,703 samples from truck drivers tested on Wednesday 29 April 2020, at border points turned negative for COVID-19.