Lockdown is now wearing away as we go down to the last ten days.
Lockdown of 42 days emerged as a result of the new wave of Covid-19 which has seen rise in many cases and deaths.
However, the nation is looking forward to President Yoweri Museveni’s next message on TV about the possible opening of the country.
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja’s message on the progress made during the 42 day lockdown looks amazing. Nabanja noted that there positives picked from the lockdown, with a great deal of improvements in daily cases and deaths.
Part of Nabanja’s statements;
As you are all aware, on 18th June 2021, H.E the President, guided by the scientists and the prevailing COVlDl9 trends at the time, announced a second lockdown. This was meant to reverse the rapid spread of the pandemic. I am glad to report that the daily case load, including the rate of hospitalization have significantly dropped in the past two weeks.
This is what the lockdown was intended for; to slow down the rapid transmission and restore our health system that had been over-stretched and degraded by the huge patient numbers.
Evidence from elsewhere, and from the fundamentals of infectious diseases’ control short that lockdowns or restrictions in movement of persons slows down and reverses the rate of transmission. Given the long incubation period of the virus of 14 days, our scientists and the Ministry of Health had predicted that the reversal may happen after 3 4 weeks.
The majority of those admitted have severe and critical conditions and require High Dependency or lntensive Care support. This drastically increased the oxygen requirements.
Each COVID-l9 patient consumes 4-6 cylinders per day as opposed to I to 2 cylinders per day for non-COVID-l9 patient. In some extreme cases patients with severe lung damage, would require up to l2 cylinders of oxygen per day!
Preliminary epidemiological and clinical data shows that we may have passed the peak of current wave. However, we must be cautious on this apparent downward trend, given COVID-19 unpredictable micro-dynamics dictated by community and social interactions which vary. The Ministry of Health, working closely with the local governments are monitoring this situation closely.
ln the 42 days’ lockdown, government is doing the following:
i) Enhancing measures tc interrupt transmission of COVID-l9 among healthcare workers and the communities.
ii) Strengthening measures to control transmission within communities through the District and Village COV|Dl9 Task
iii) Streamlining and strengthening Home-Based Care for COVID19.
iv) Continuing with vaccination.
v) Addressing gaps that were identified in the last wave such as enhancing oxygen availability, strengthening port health at boarder points of entry, increasing the number of vehicles for surveillance and training more health workers on critical care
Rt Hon Speaker and Hon members,
Since the entry into the second wave of the COVID-I9 pandemic, which is driven by the presence of the Delta variant ere ls an increased demand for care of people with COVID-I9. The Ministry of Health continues to implement the Home-Based Care strategy which started in the first wave. This strategy reduces pressure on health facilities from overload with patients who have no symptoms or those who are mildly sick and don’t require sophisticated clinical care and can be monitored in their homes.
ln this regard, the. Ministry of Local Government received 52 Billion to facilitate COVID-I9 response at local levels across the country.
Unlike in the first wave, where the majority of severe and critical cases were above the age of 60 years, the second wave is characterized by a shift to high numbers of cases among the age group below 40 years.
The rapid rise in the number of cases has had an overwhelming impact on the provision of clinical care. There has been a significant increase in the number of cases admitted to isolation facilities. in May 2021 for example, admissions were between I0 to 20 new cases daily and this increased to an average of 120 cases daily.
Award winning journalist and writer who has worked as a stringer for a couple of acclaimed South Africa based German journalists, covered 3 Ugandan elections, 2008 Kenya election crisis, with interests in business and sports reporting.