MPs handover Constituency Ambulances to Ministry of Health to support COVID-19 response as Coronavirus cases spike in Uganda
As COVID-19 cases rise in Uganda, Members of Parliament (MPs) have willingly offered their constituency ambulances to the government to evacuate suspected novel coronavirus victims.
This followed Dr Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health letter to Parliament on the 26th of March, 2020, requesting Uganda MPs to surrender their ambulances to help the government in evacuating coronavirus (COVID-19) victims, since public transport has been banned.
“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Uganda, the Ministry of Health requests MPs through your office to avail their ambulances stationed in the different constituencies across the country to supplement government efforts tracing and evacuating suspected cases to nearest treatment centres.”
Government has about 200 ambulances of which some are grounded.
Many legislators according to James Tukahirwa, the Chief Transport Officer at the Ministry of Works and Transport responded positively.
“I have been contacted by more than 70 members and they are positive but their support is in the district and areas where they are,” Tukahirwa said.
Tukahirwa says in this arrangement all costs including fuel, general repairs and driver’s allowances will be covered by the government.
“The district health officers have been provided with adequate resources to beef up the fight on coronavirus. Fuel allowances to drivers and any other thing that the health office deems necessary in their judgment.”
At Parliament over 90 legislators own ambulances and all of them have embraced the move.
Meanwhile, the First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni, has asked Ugandans to continuously pray for the country during this trying time.
“What do you do when you feel fear? At a time like this, that’s when you pray and you know that the enemy is strong but God is even stronger,” she said.
In her remarks, the First Lady says people should not lose faith in God but rather pray for his intervention in the matter. She, however, reiterated President Museveni’s message on the closure of schools, worship centres among others to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In this, the First Lady urged parents to utilize the lockdown period to pray with their children and teach them the value of praying.
“Guide mothers and fathers in the home. Ensure children stay home. That’s why the schools are closed so that we maintain social distancing. Go further and pray and fast.”
The First Lady further appealed to parents to make sure they maintain proper hygiene in homes, cleaning surfaces such that children are not exposed to infections.
“Listen to what the President has been telling you. You have to be serious about cleanliness, especially of your hands. Take care, not just of your yourself, your family and children. Keep surfaces in your homes clean, to protect the children. Take fluids frequently. Stay home.”
Quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14 in the bible, the First Lady asked Ugandans to fight this world war on their knees.
“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. It will take our willingness to fight, this time on our knees. We will win this war on our knees. Our God hears he has not changed.”
Uganda has 33 confirmed cases no death, no recovery as of today 30th, March 2020.
Ministry of Health is currently monitoring 1,001 novel coronavirus cases, 812 under institutional quarantine while 189 under self-quarantine.