News Politics

Presidential address: Bars to remain closed, Artists to perform Online.

On 16th April 2021 the President, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa addressed the Nation on matters concerning the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Uganda. Although many anticipated a number of changes particularly the relaxation of curfews and re-opening of bars and concerts, the President was clear that it would only serve to plunge the country into turmoil. Here are a few excerpts from the address.

New strains of viruses.

The president begun off by alerting Ugandans of three new strains of the novel corona virus. The newly detected Nigerian Virus, South Africa’s SARS-CoV-2 virus and the A-23-1 virus that is common amongst Ugandans. The new variant makes you sicklier, and has a stealthy impact on the body making it undetectable to the immune system. Rapid progress to respiratory failure without prior warning signs has made this virus more fatal than the previous one.

Since the outbreak of the corona virus in Uganda last year, 41,000 have been infected with the virus while 40,000 recovered, 37 died. He further went ahead to echo the need to maintain covid-19 standard operating procedures as well as the curfew.

 Astra Zeneca was acquired earlier this year in March, and 200,000 Ugandans have mqnaged to get vaccinated, although there is still a need to accelerate the process if we are to avoid a catastrophe. Vaccines are our most effective measure against covid-19. However, vaccines together with sops will help us get back to our normal lives. The President also warned against relying on external help to fight the spread of covid-19 when the minimum requirements for production could be met locally.

Curfew and Entertainment

The curfew was introduced to lessen congregation in high risk areas like bars, concerts and churches. ‘Those who are pushing for bars are enemies: disappointed that you did not die and want the rest of us to die and we cannot allow that.’

Violations of the covid-19 regulations by some individuals’ who’ve been running bars against covid 19 rules will also be dealt with. Ugandans were reminded to maintain sops by washing their hands, keeping social distance and wearing masks.

“Beaches, bars concerts and all these places that are associated with drunkardness shall remain closed until the country has a hold on this infection.”

Museveni

The government will bring another 5 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine before the end of May. This will ensure that those who were not vaccinated get vaccinated and those that got the first dose will be able to get a second one.

Covid-19 Vaccines.

He warned on getting vaccines from other places like India, calling it ‘very risky’ and instead urged Ugandan scientists to develop a local vaccine soon. The use of therapeutics has also been embraced and its ‘doing well’ with a 80% success rate.

However in spite of this not enough numbers have been available for testing and this had led to a delay in finalizing the study. On side of diagnostics the experiments have been successful and now sceientists are looking for land to build a factory.

Entertainment and Bars

The president will also instruct the Ministry Finance, Planning and Economic Development to support online platforms in order to embrace the digital revolution. The president said this in relation to the ban on concerts; he believes that artists can also perform online.

“In kyankwanzi we have more than 300 people, all put in quarantine, tested again, if you follow the requirements there is nothing that cannot be done.”

Religious congregation

‘For Ramadan, my appeal is that: I’m also a godly person, I remember what we learned…God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, it’s not a mosque, it’s not church or cathedral or tent. No one should put our people at risk in the name of praying.’

Be careful, maintain sops and continue with the struggle for vaccination while therapeutics are also getting near success. The address was ended with a local luganda proverb ‘Obwato buffa magoba’; the boat can sink near the shore, with that he urged Ugandans not to make a mistake now that they were nearing the end (solution) to the pandemic.

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