How Uganda is preparing to deal with the Corona Virus
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
As of February 2020, Uganda had no confirmed cases of Coronavirus. However, the Ministry of Health in Uganda remains vigilant to identify any person who may develop or arrive into the country with the disease.
Uganda government response
The Ministry of Health in Uganda has undertaken measures to prevent, detect and respond to the 2019-Coronavirus. Measures include:
- Ensured that Uganda Virus Research Institute has the necessary equipment and reagents to test and confirm any suspected Coronavirus
- Engaged in public awareness by developing and distributing an information leaflet containing relevant public health officers’ telephone numbers.
- Strengthened screening at the country’s main airport at Entebbe
- Strengthened and equipped referral hospitals at Entebbe and Naguru with the necessary equipment and staff to manage people who might fall sick.
President Museveni’s advice
Mr Museveni’s statement to the nation
Now as the Ministry of health guides us, let us take a personal decision not to shake hands unnecessarily or expose ourselves to conditions that will facilitate the spread of Coronavirus.
Hand shaking is a core cultural concept in Uganda. It is often used during greeting upon meeting someone for the first time. It is also used when saying goodbye. In Uganda, it is important to greet everyone respectfully and immediately upon seeing them and the most common greeting is a handshake accompanied by a smile. Some people in Uganda may even use two hands to shake/greet, often as a mark of respect to the person they are greeting.
Appeal for calm
The Ministry of Health in Uganda further appeals to the general public to remain calm and report any suspicious cases to the nearest health facility or call the toll free lines 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066.