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Speaker asks MPs to reconsider travel abroad to tame COVID-19

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga chairing the afternoon plenary session.

Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT |  The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has advised Members of Parliament to reconsider travels abroad as the world battles the worst Coronavirus -COVID-19. 

Kadaga made the caution upon the cancellation of the 142nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting that had been scheduled to take place between April 16 and April 20, 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was scheduled to adopt resolutions on the challenges and risks to peace and security as a consequence of climate change and mainstreaming digitalization and the circular economy to achieve the SDGs.

Kadaga equally told MPs that another meeting they had planned to attend in St. Petersburg during the first week of June organized by the Russian Federation Parliament had also been cancelled. The cancellations came as the World Health Organisation declared COVID 19, a Pandemic. 

According to WHO data, on average 2,000 new infections are reported across the world on a daily basis. The disease which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has since spread to 118 countries and territories, with nearly 125,000 cases and 4,291 deaths – a 13-fold increase outside China in the past two weeks, and a threefold rise in the number of affected countries.

Kadaga says that the rate at which the disease is spreading is frightening and appealed to MPs to desist from travelling abroad during this time of heightened spread. 

In the last 674 years, eight major epidemics have been experienced in the world. The most current one is the HIV/AIDS pandemic 2005 to 2012.  In total over 40 million people have been killed in these pandemics.

“All countries in the world can do something to control this virus. Countries without cases should get ready, those with cases suspected cases should detect, protect and treat the sick. They should also reduce the transmission of cases. Those with reduced cases should work on research. Come up with innovations to help us fight the virus,” WHO  Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement issued on Thursday.

According to WHO only 81 countries in the world, have not reported any cases as of coronavirus yet while 57 countries have reported less than 10 cases. Dr Tedros says such countries should not give up but instead work hard to ensure that the infection stays far away.

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