Judith Nabakooba, the Information Minister, raised concerns about a second lockdown in case the virus hits a dangerous level in Uganda.
Information Minister Judith Nabakooba had said that Uganda may have to go on a second lockdown in case the virus reaches new levels of infection.
This was revealed by the Information Minister in an interview with NBS TV. She said despite the government’s earlier endeavours to purchase the vaccines, many people are reluctant to embrace the vaccination exercise.
Nabakooba cited that this is the reason why the country in recent weeks has seen an increase in the new cases including dangerous variants like those from India.
“It is not in our interest as a gov’t to go into another lockdown, but what happens when things worsen? The different stakeholders are drawing different scenarios, and mid-week, we may have to reconvene as the National Taskforce,” Nabakooba said.
“We are slow at embracing the vaccination process. We are not doing well in that line. Let us use the doses that are here first. What we are going to do is aggressive sensitization. The government is looking at different scenarios, the different variants, and areas with emerging cases. If we continue getting more variants, that will raise a red flag on our country.”
She added, however, that government does not want to enforce another lockdown due to the risks it poses to the economy but warned if the public does not collectively handle this surge in cases, then there will be no option.
“As the government, it is not in our interests to have a second lockdown. A lockdown can, however, be inevitable in some circumstances. We are encouraging Ugandans to walk into a health centre and talk to health personnel if they need more information regarding the vaccine.”
This comes at a time when the health ministry last week confirmed one case related to the Indian variant. The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Director Pontiano Kaleebu, disclosed that the detected case was from a group of returnees from Indian.
“We have so far detected one case but are on the lookout for others. We are not sure if these travelers had interacted with other people,” Kaleebu said.
According to Col Dr Henry Kyobe, the Covid-19 incident commander, the country has now registered five Covid-19 variants, namely Ugandan, Nigerian, South Africa, and UK strains.
He disclosed that the UK, South Africa, and India variants are more transmissible and mainly affect a younger age group in cases where they have been recorded.
“Variants of concern are those that change the epidemiology, transmission and effect on individuals. In that case, they might be more virulent and change from one age to the other. They might change in symptoms and in the worst case scenario therapeutics and vaccines may not be able to respond to them, but we have not yet seen that,” Dr Kyobe disclosed.