We can blame Mr. Museveni for anything but not his decision yesterday to put Uganda under semi-lockdown again. A lot of people, especially elders, are dying of Covid – something needed to be done urgently.
Personally, I think we are back to square one, partly, because most Ugandans have never taken the disease seriously. Here in the UK, our Prime minister thought the same -- As much of a tosser Dominic Cummings is, he revealed some very interesting things recently that Boris Johnson thought the same as Trump -- it’s just a flu. Boris also hates lockdowns, and that’s why he kept doing them too late.
Lockdowns are ok but don’t help in the long term. That is why I think the Uganda government should use the 42 days of lockdown to vaccinate most people. Vaccination and surge testing has helped us here in the UK so much. Yes, there have been huge hotspots for the Indian variant in Bolton, Manchester and Bedford, but cases are now dropping rapidly in these areas due to surge vaccinations. Most unvaccinated people here are young-- so unlikely to result in hospitalisations. Most vulnerable are now fully vaccinated and vaccinations in the younger age groups are at a good pace. Unless something dramatic happens, I see no reason for deviating from the plan to lift restrictions on 21st June.
The crowds in the 20-21 campaigns did a lot of damage as young people were moving from one place to the other in big numbers. So, the Uganda govt should embark on huge campaign to vaccinate younger people at a speed. The reason for vaccinating children is not to reduce Covid related deaths of children, it’s to reduce cases and therefore transmission and future mutations (mutations which could escape the vaccine). Here in the UK, currently children are responsible for over 20% of all Covid cases. The vaccine limits transmission by up to 90%.
If we want to prevent future waves from both current and future variants, vaccinating a proportion of society that is responsible per capita for more transmission than any other age group surely makes sense?
Another reason is to protect clinically vulnerable children and adults. People with sickle cells, diabetes, HIV, e.t.c, are so vulnerable to the disease.
Covid also causes long term side effects (long term, in many cases lifelong multi organ damage) in children who contract Covid, so it's hardly safe for kids to catch it!!
Vaccinations can prevent a massive amount of unnecessary suffering in children (and when they grow up). Yet the vaccine data for 12–16-year-olds on the Pfizer trial proved 100% effective and safe! Better than the adult data.
Lastly, Ugandans should take SOPs in place seriously, vaccinated or not. I read somewhere on Timothy Kalyegira’s Facebook that people remove masks, or wear them around their necks, as soon as they get into taxis – I found this so sad. A friend in Kangulumira told me that one of the ways they know that someone is going to Kampala is when they see a mask on his face.
Here in the UK, there have been so few flu cases over the last year simply because of social distancing, clean hands and masks. Flu needs contact to spread via coughing, sneezing, handshakes etc. Covid is airborne. So, do SOPs for other benefits if you aren’t convinced by this Covid thingy. I just have a funny feeling there will be one last sting in the tail before Ugandans start taking Covid seriously. Things seem too good to be true at the moment for them.
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.wordpress.com
"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive." - Henry Steele Commager 1902-98