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WANDIRA KAZIBWE: Curve is flat, time to ease lock down

Dr Kazibwe in today’s interview. TV SHOT NBSTV

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Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Former Vice-President Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe has said Uganda has contained the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and is well placed to ease the lock-down.

She said that ‘technically’ the curve is flat as the majority of those who have tested positive are imported cases into the country, and not from the community.

“The infection as we see it now, going to over 200 cases, are not an actually infection originating in Uganda. Which means they do not reflect the degree of risk within the population, but they reflect a degree of risk to being infected,” said Dr Kazibwe.

She was speaking on Morning Breeze on NBS TV today as a Senior Special Presidential advisor global health and population, attached to the Ministry of Health.

“The phased easing of the lock-down is already happening. What you must do is make sure your health system is ready to treat the infected cases. The Ugandan system is ready, ” she said confidently. She says the Ministry of Health has also given Ugandans enough information to act on.

Kazibwe said most of the Ugandan cases are positive, but they are ‘not sick’. They are mild cases, she says, that need to be quarantined, not admitted into a hospital. Uganda’s hospital bed capacity can cope, she reassured.

“Being infected does not mean you are sick. Our cases have mild symptoms, and do not even need admission. We have bed capacity for those who are moderate to severe and need to be admitted. Truck drivers are driving, do they need to be admitted – they are doing their work already,” she said.  “They need to be quarantined, not admitted.”

The elite will set us back

Kazibwe was critical of the elite, who she says will be one source of a setback in Uganda’s effort.

“The elite are going to be the setback. They think through whatsapp, they think through google they have it all put together. They are coming to COVID not with a clean slate, but with bias…but Ugandans are proving us wrong. The educated have a responsibility to listen, be open minded, which is not the case,” she said.

“The ordinary Ugandan is ‘not infected with COVID’. The ones in the urban centres, it is killing them mentally,” she said.

She added that “This is an opportunity as an individual, in the whatsapp groups to open your eyes and see what are the opportunities, instead of wasting time on whatsapp, commenting on everything that comes. Infecting your mind with ideas that are half-baked.”

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