By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
In the past few weeks, the number of COVID-19 infections in Uganda has been increasing steadily and it has reached the stage to make the Ministry of Health alarmed. In fact, the current rate of new infections is so alarming that the Ministry of Health has called an emergency meeting of stakeholders to chart ways of bringing the spike under control.
According to a letter by the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine seen by Exposed Uganda, Dr Atwine has written to stakeholders to inform them that President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Ministry to form a temporary National Task Force to manage the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter is addressed to officials like the World Health Organisation country representative Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the UNICEF country representative Dr Mohamed El Munir A. Safieldin, and the Director-General Health Services Dr Henry Mwebesa among others.
The need to have a new temporary task force comes due to the fact that some officials who were on the old task force were cabinet ministers whose term of office ended two weeks ago, but we all know COVID-19 has not ended so work has to go on until the President names a new cabinet in the coming weeks.
On the agenda to be discussed in the meeting is the possibility of a new lockdown, something that will not excite the majority of Ugandans one bit. While talking to NTV Uganda this morning, Atwine said if Ugandans don’t voluntarily go back to observing COVID-19 preventive measures that were introduced at the onset of the pandemic last year in March, the government will be forced to introduce a second lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
This week alone, six people have succumbed to the deadly disese and the Permnent Secretry said that the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of the health facilities around the country are almost full. 380 people have so far died of COVID-19 in Uganda, out of the more than 44,000 infections recorded.