President Yoweri Museveni has resurrected COVID-19 restrictions ordering that those who have not been vaccinated stay away from public gatherings.
In a televised address, about the health situation in the country, Museveni said the National Task Force on COVID-19 had reviewed the current situation in the country and made recommendations aimed at avoiding a resurgence and flare-up of infections. These, he said, must be adopted for implementation with immediate effect.
Among those new restrictions include; having a certificate of vaccination with evidence of up-to-date boosting in order to be allowed entry into formal meetings and public places including religious gatherings, local council meetings, and other social meetings. Where there is no up-to-date vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test within 24 hours must be presented to be allowed access.
The president also said that a COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be required to access offices at all government ministries, departments and agencies and other public and private offices. The use of masks, the president also said, is recommended for all individuals in enclosed places and public gatherings.
For people aged 50 years and above, and those living with comorbidities, Museveni said should get vaccinated and boosted at least every six months while individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 should not go to closed or crowded places.
“I have been informed by the ministry of Health that so far we have received a total of 48,897,520 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country through donations and procurement by government. Of these, 26,281,566 doses have been administered to the population and 22,615,954 doses are still in National Medical Stores. To date, 59 per cent of the population 18 years and above have received at least two doses of the vaccine while only 6% of the children aged 12-17 years have received 2 doses of the vaccine. This coverage is below our target of 28.5 million eligible Ugandans (22 million adults and 6.5 million children) who are up to date with their vaccination against COVID-19...I direct the ministry of Health to re-launch the vaccination exercise and ensure more people are vaccinated especially the elderly, those with comorbidities and children aged 12-17 years. Let us work together to ensure the Coronavirus does not flare up again,” said Museveni.
For the most part of this year, there has been a very low rate of COVID-19 infections. According to the ministry of Health, the positivity rate continues has been between 0.4 per cent to 1.2 per cent compared to when it was in double digits at the peak of the infection.
This reduction in the spread has caused laxity among the population not only in Uganda but across the world. In fact, in China where the virus started, thousands of Chinese nationals dissatisfied with COVID-19 restrictions have for the last week taken to the streets to air out their discomfort.
Demonstrations in China are a rarity and the government ruthlessly deals with them. It’s not yet clear how the Uganda public is going to react to Museveni’s latest directives. To date, there have been a total of 170,694 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,632 deaths.