Kampala – Former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi has backed Uganda’s anti- Coronavirus efforts saying the extent of the virus is unknown, RedPepper’s Maurice Muhwezi reports.
Mbabazi, who lost his presidential bid in 2016, but has been largely in political hibernation, said in a statement on Monday, April 6, that the Presidential directives on the fight against the deadly coronavirus should be heeded to by every Uganda.
While praising Ministry of Health and all health workers, the Former Premier also commended President Museveni and Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng for the job well done in the fighting COVID-19 and further applauding healthcare workers on the frontline to save lives and risking their own.
“COVID-19 has challenged well-established healthcare systems in the world/places like China, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America, among others, where medical, scientific and societal advancement is considerable,” Mbabazi said.
Mbabazi cautioned that public to adhere to the health guidelines revealing that anyone was susceptible to the deadly coronavirus regardless of economic and social status.
The Former NRM Secretary-General further compared the pandemic to the Spanish Influenza of 1918 – 1920 claiming millions of live world over.
“It affects everyone; it does not respect one’s status of economic standing. It causes irreplaceable harm, even death, to human beings. We have come to know that even the young are susceptible and at risk of the severe complications,” Mbabazi said.
“The only comparable pandemic, in terms of the scale of the threat against human life, is the Spanish Influenza of 1918 – 1920. The 1918 outbreak caused the deadliest flu pandemic in recorded human history, claiming lives of an estimated 50-100 million people worldwide,” Mbabazi explained.
On the spread and ramification of the virus, Mbabazi castigated a section of the public that thinks the COVID-19 was not a threat
“We face a similar threat today with a new virus (COVID-19) that has the same or even greater potential. The fatality of COVID-19 appears to be low compared to that of Ebola – lower by far, than Malaria in Africa – this must not fool us into underestimating the deadliness of the disease,” Mbabazi said.
The problem with the new coronavirus is that it is highly contagious and the speed with which it spreads is unprecedented – with the capability to spread quickly and efficiently between people,” Mbabazi added.
President Museveni has, in several addresses, taken public health measure to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in Uganda; closure of institutions. Learning centres, banned public gatherings, suspended public and private transport and equally restricted people movement with curfews starting 7 pm till morning.
Mbabazi challenged Ugandans to play their part in fighting COVID-19, at an individual level to control the spread that could overwhelm the country’s medical capacity.
“Social distancing, Handwashing, disinfecting frequently, isolating oneself when one is sick and most importantly following all other government guidelines that have been stipulated,” Mbabazi shared.
The out-spoken founding member of the NRM challenged researchers and scientists to share information on fighting the spread of COVID-19 with the public.
“It is important that our scientists disseminate as much information as they can about coronavirus, as well as its spread so that our people are equipped to protect themselves,” Mbabazi asserted.
Ministry of Health, on Monday, April 6, that there were no cases registered positive from the tests done, maintaining the total at 52 and confirmed deaths.
“All 231 samples tested for COVID-19 at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe today Monday, April 06 have all returned negative. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases still stands at 52 in the country,” read part of the statement signed off by Ministry of Health’s Director of General Health Service, Dr. Henry Mwebesa.