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Second COVID-19 lockdown unlikely – Dr Musenero

Dr Monica Musenero Senior Presidential Advisor on Epidemics

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda will not have a second lockdown, Dr Monica Musenero Senior Presidential Advisor on Epidemics said on Thursday dispelling the fear which came with an increasing number of new infections in the country.  

Musenero said a lot of people have been inquiring about a possible lockdown, especially after neighbours Rwanda, imposed the second lockdown in the capital Kigali.  Rwanda has so far confirmed 11, 259 cases and 146 deaths, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, yet 61 per cent of the cases since the beginning of the new year, were recorded in Kigali. 

To forestall the spread, the government of Rwanda announced that all movements outside homes in the capital will require an approved permit from the police, except for essential service providers. Travel between Kigali and other provinces and districts is equally not be permitted, except for essential services and tourism. 

But Dr Musenero, an epidemiologist said what is being experienced in Rwanda in terms of infection rates in the city now has already happened in Uganda with the country’s biggest worry now being  the rural areas. 

Since the blockade of the internet last week in preparation for the January 14, presidential and parliamentary elections, release of daily test results by the Ministry of Health had slowed down but on Tuesday when reporting was done, 449 new infections were detected in a single day. 

According to Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health, testing continued even in the week-long internet blackout showing high numbers of new infections.  He said the internet affected the automated dispatch system for COVID-19 results but the data will be released soon. 

However even before these results arrive, Musenero told URN that the figures are high and this was expected considering that the country is going through a highly charged election where respect for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is nearly impossible. 

In terms of figures, Uganda has recorded a cumulative 38,628 infections so far reported by the Ministry. 305 of these have succumbed to the viral respiratory disease, and some 13,413 people have recovered.

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