By Simon Abaho
President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday, July 31, is set to address the nation on the next steps to follow in the bid to combat the COVID-19 pandemic as the 42-day lockdown he issued in June comes to its end.
Slated for 8:00Pm, the presidential address on COVID-19 will give an update on the country’s fight against the pandemic, related issues and the way forward on whether the lockdown shall be extended or partially lifted.
“President Kaguta Museveni will this Saturday July 31, 2021, starting at 8 pm address Ugandans on COVID19 and related issues,” Senior Presidential Press Secretary Lindah Nabusayi said.
Nabusayi added that the address will be broadcast live on all television and radio stations.
On Monday, Dr. Monica Musenero, the Chief Epidemiologist at the COVID-19 Taskforce, said the government still aims to inoculate 22 million people, about half of the country’s population, to enable the economy to fully reopen.
Dr. Musenero, also a presidential advisor on epidemics, said that lifting Coronavirus containment protocols before mass vaccination will have repercussions.
“This is a tough time. It’s because we are fighting a very dangerous enemy. This walk hasn’t been easy but here we are, we have achieved something together, with the lockdown in place, we have managed to bring down the cases, which were just climbing astronomically and soon we shall start to see a steady decline in death due to Covid-19,” Dr. Musenero said.
Dr. Musenero noted that the government has been frustrated by difficulties in accessing the vaccines but she praised lockdown, saying “It was in itself meant to push down numbers.”
“The lockdown helped us to bring down numbers, you all saw the deaths, hospitals were filled to capacity, but we managed to contain that. The lockdown has helped us so much in stopping the spread,” she added.
Health Minister Ruth Aceng recently said government has finalized legal requirements for the purchase of 2 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines through the Africa Export-Import Bank and the African Union.
She added that the government is at different stages of securing doses from Cuba, Russia, China and the U.K.
Uganda has so far received only 1.14 million doses through the Covax facility and the Indian government.
It is also due to receive a batch of 285,600 doses under Covax in a few weeks, another of 688,800 in August, and a donation of 300,000 doses from Sinovac later this month.
Uganda has administered over 1 million doses and registered about 92,724 total cumulative cases since March last year, with COVID-19 2,590 deaths and 78, 425 recoveries.