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MINISTER JUDITH NABAKOOBA WARNS OF SECOND COVID19 WAVE

By Khasacha Mwene

 Minister of ICT and National Guidance Ms. Judith Nabakooba has cautioned Ugandans and asked them to be ready for the second wave of Covid-19 that she termed “is angrier and deadly this time.” Speaking during her weekly press briefing on Sunday May 2, 2021, the Minister said according to the Ministry of Health, all signs indicate that the second was is already here and is going to be more deadly that the first one.

“We have been told that the second wave is being driven by new types of the virus spreading in different parts of the world. Therefore, Government has decided to embark on some of the strategies that we employed last year in March. These interventions are going to help the country to avoid what is happening in India now.

On Friday, the Minister of Health announced the suspension of all flights and travelers from India until further notice. This suspension however does not include Ugandans who had gone for treatment. The Minister also announced that all travelers coming through the airport and land boarders will be tested for COVID-19,” said Ms. Nabakooba. She added that the Government will give more details on this earlier in the week.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR  THE ORDINARY PERSON?

Ms. Nabakooba said the reintroduction of restrictions should tell Ugandans that the situation is serious, noting that this is the time to wake up. “Covid-19 is back, it is angrier and more dangerous. It is determined to kill as many people as it can this time. The Ministry of health has started to witness a gradual increase in new cases. We all must wake up and take seriously the existing guidance on Covid-19. All those who have been called up for vaccination should immediately go get the vaccine. Currently the total number of people vaccinated is still very low standing at 330,077 as of Friday 30th April 2021.”

“Some people are thinking that India is so far away.  However, we are also being told that all our neighboring countries are already in their second wave. Countries such as DR Congo, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi are registering daily high new cases. I therefore call upon all Ugandans to take the existing guidance on prevention seriously,” said Ms. Nabakooba.

She advised Ugandans to reawaken their caution by wearing masks all the time, washing hand with soap and social distancing. The Minister said, currently, close to 21 million Ugandans in the high-risk category are eligible for vaccination, and asked them to show up and get vaccinated. She noted that “we need to do this now in order to avoid the unfortunate loss of life.”

On another note, she said the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance has organized a two-week retreat for Government communications and public relations officers scheduled to take place from May 16 to 28, 2021 at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi with the intention of strengthening the Government communication function through sharing of knowledge and imparting of practical skills. She urged all MDAs to release their officers to attend the retreat.

The Minister further assured all media practitioners that their safety and freedoms are guaranteed by the Government ahead of International World Press Day tomorrow, May 3. “All those who continued to be harassed while doing their work should report the incidents to the respective authorities. International World Press Day is the day when the world reflects on the importance of a free press. The theme for this year is looking at Information as a public good. It is important to strengthen all levels of this information function from the way information is produced, distributed and consumed. I want to thank the Media in Uganda for a job well done. For example, the media has been crucial in the fight against COVID-19 and the just concluded national elections. In the course of this work, some of the journalists have come under attack for many different reasons,” said Minister Nabakooba.

She added that as Government of Uganda, the occasional challenges or incidents should not override the existing good will and support towards the media. “Uganda has one of the most vibrant media spaces in the world. With close to 300 radio stations, over 40 TV stations, and about 96 online media platforms our media industry is envied all over the world. This vibrancy only exists in places where the media is appreciated and encouraged,” she explained.(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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