THE NEW  COVID -19 PRESIDENTAL DIRECTIVES FOR UGANDA IN 2021, SEPTMEBER 22ND

THE NEW  COVID -19 PRESIDENTAL DIRECTIVES FOR UGANDA IN 2021, SEPTMEBER 22ND

On 22nd September 2021, the president of Uganda HE Yoweri Katuga Museveni addressed the nation about the new COVID-19 updates in Uganda.

The president of Uganda highlighted the reduction of COVID -19 Rates from the time of his last address to the nation that took place 30th July 2021. He mentioned that the spread of COVIDI-19 in still persistent in some few regions of Uganda; these include Kampala, Kabale, Kalungu, soroti, Tororo, Gulu, Umber and Nyowa.

He mentioned about the reduction in the contraction cases of COVID-19 country wide over from the month of June declining and stabilizing at 124 cases from an average of 1445 cases at the peak of the second COVID -19 wave in June 2021.

The declined of the death rates in the country was as well mentioned. Declining from 57 deaths to 6 from the second wave.

H.E the president of Uganda Yoweri Katuga Museveni gave a highlight about the COVID 19 situation for September as of 22nd . With the country registering 122,502 confirmed corona cases and  3135 death with the admission of COVID patience standing at 340 cases both in the private and public facilities. With only 38% (1440 of the admission in the critical and severe category,

He mentioned about the vaccination status of the population of Uganda. The president emphasized that the government of Uganda is still carrying out extensive mobilization of the COVID-19 vaccines from country donor countries and by the end of the month of December2021, the said the country expects 12 million doses as shown below.

  1. COVID -19 VACCINATION

Vaccine arrival forecast Sept-December 2021

Source of vaccine Type of vaccine Quantity Status
USA Pfizer 1,647,000 Received -6th September 2021
USA Moderna 647,000 Received -6th September 2021
France AstraZeneca 501,000 22 September 2021
Belgium AstraZeneca 344,900 30 September 2021
China Sinovac 700,000 30 September , 2021
USA Pfizer 3,488,940 End of October, 2021
GoU Johnson &Johnson 1,200,000 End of October, 2021
GoU Johnson&Johnson 2,000,000 End of September 2021
COVAX AstraZeneca 1,000,000 Mid October 2021
Ireland AstraZeneca 350,000 Mid October 2021
Belgium Johnson&Johnson 100,000 End of November 2021
Total   11,978,840  

 

HE president of Uganda said currently the country is in possession of 2294000 doses available at the National medical stores out of the 11978840 million doses expected to be received by end of December 2021.

The president highlighted strategies that are being undertaken in regard COVID-19 vaccination and as following

  • Scaling up vaccination for all eligible Ugandans aged 18 years and above (approx. 22m)
  • Prioritizing the vaccination of 4.8 million priority personnel, elderly persons of 50 years and above. People beloe50 years with comorbidities and 330,000 students in post-secondary institutions aged 18 years and above.

 

The president directed with immediate effect that all RDCs, DHOs and CAOs must carry out intensive mobilization for all eligible COVID-19 priority groups to   go and get vaccinated. These monitoring groups should keep in mind ensuring that the vaccines shouldn’t expire or be wasted.

 

 

  1. Surveillance

In order to prevent the entry of the new COVID variants and the second wave, the presidents directed the ministry of health to undertake the following actions.

  • Ensure surveillance at the Uganda international airport and all the 53 land ports of entry into Uganda. He said the government will establish testing facilities at all land border points on entry and testing facilities at the airport. Private laboratories were encouraged to continue testing of the incoming travelers starting in not more than two weeks
  • The UPDF and Civil aviation authority are responsible to support the Ministry of health in the completion of the necessary installation of the testing facilities and carry out need be surveillance processes.
  • Carry out systematic and regular genomic sequencing to detect any new COVID variants
  • Work with the ministry of Education and sports to support head teachers to carry out surveillance and early reporting of suspected cases in schools to the District and City task Forces once the school open
  • Follow up the use of Rapid Antigen self-test with world health Organization (WHO) and once approved inform the ministry of Education and sports to consider their use in schools.
  1. Safe reopening of sectors under lock down
  2. The president of Uganda Yoweri Katuga Museveni mentioned that the reopening of sectors that are still under lock down is undertaken with guidelines. He said, before reopening of any sector in Uganda, the Uganda national task force looks at;
  • Risk of transmission in that sector
  • Economic impact
  • Vulnerability

 

These reopening factors are guides by scientific evidence that is based on the approach of

  • sustainable reopening in a phased manner and science evidence,
  • Increased awareness by the sector of the risks and adherence to SOP’s
  • Enforcement of the SOPs by the sector in the line with the COVID-19 statutory instrument

 

The president with regard to the Uganda Tasks force, he mentioned the new directives that concerned the still remained sectors and these were as follows

Places of worship

The places of worship in Uganda were reopened under the following conditions.

  • The number of worshippers were limited to not more 200 individuals. Provided the opened worshipped places could ensure physical distancing of 2 meters of worshippers and adequate aeration.
  • No prayers are allowed past curfew time
  • The worship centers where called upon by the president to partner with the government of Uganda to mobilize and communicate the population about vaccination and other control measures
  • The 200 worshippers limit, physical distancing and all other SOPs these were encouraged to be respected even special occasions e.g. weddings , confirmations and funeral services
  • Strict adherence to the all SOP’;s at all-time i.e. washing of hands, social distancing , hand sanitizing, temperature monitoring and consistent wearing of face masks by all congregants including the preachers and choir members.

 

Weddings, burials and other social events

The number of people these events was increased to 200 individuals under strict observance of standard operating procedures.

 

Casinos, gaming, betting shops and Gyms

The casinos, gyms, betting shops and gaming sectors where allowed to operate during the day and close at 6:00pm

The Kampala city authority, local governments working with the National gaming and lottery board were supposed to put into action the inspection of the various betting outlets for suitability and adherence to SOPS before re opening.

Concerts, disco halls, performing artists and beaches

 

The president directed for these sectors to remain closed due to the fact that they congregate large numbers and are difficult to control. And still the level of vaccination among the populations, these places remain closed until at least 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated.

 

Bars

The bars were seen as high risk areas where individuals have no sobriety to observe the standard operation procedures. The re-opening of the bars was considered after at least 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated.

Cinemas and Bibanda (Local cinema Halls)

The president directed for these places to still remain closed. As these places are heavily crowned, desired with artificial ventilation systems causing poor aeration.

Curfew

The curfew hours remained from 7: 00pm -5:30am. The boda bodas were encouraged to stop their movements at 6:00pm.

Weekly markets

The weekly markets were reopened to operate with strict adherence to the standard operating procedures. These were re- opened because they have open door setting and their transmission rates are low. These directives where given with exemptions of markets in Kampala, kabale, Tororo, Gulu, Nyowa, Kumi and Yumbe.

The ministry of health was directed to monitor the exempted districts for a proper and safe reopening on their weekly markets.

 

Reopening of schools

Schools in Uganda were considered for reopening after vaccination of teachers, non-teaching staff, 330,000 students aged 18 years and above plus the priority population.

The president highlighted the vaccination status of people responsible for the schools in Uganda. He said out of the targeted 500,000 teachers, only 269,945 have been vaccinated with the 1st dose of vaccination while 96,653 received the second dose. Which leaves a total number of UN vaccinated teachers 280,055.

Vaccination status of the 4.8 million priority population to date

 

Category Target 1ST dose 2nd dose Unvaccinated 1st dose Unvaccinated

2nd dose

 

Teachers

 

 

500,000

 

269,945

(49%)

 

96,653

(17.6%)

 

 

280,055

 

453,347

 

50yrs+

 

 

3,348,500

 

309,592

(9.2%)

 

135,799

(4.1%)

 

 

3,038,908

 

3,212,701

 

Comorbidities

 

 

 

500,000

 

27,698

(5.5%)

 

10,347

(2.1%)

 

472,302

 

489653

 

Health workers

 

 

150,000

 

112,129

(74.8%)

 

56,687

(37.8%)

 

 

37,871

 

 

 

93,313

 

Security

 

 

250,000

 

145,389

(58.2%)

 

48.493

(19.4%)

 

104,611

 

201,507

Total       3,933,747 4,450,521

 

 

The president directed that;

  • Post-secondary institutions of learning are to open with effective from 1st November 2021 on condition that: all teachers and non-teaching staff are vaccinated.
  • The 330, 000 students aged 18 years and above in post-secondary institutions should be vaccinated as soon as possible
  • The rest of the learning institutions would be opened in January 2022.

 

The president called upon all the teachers and support staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible to enable safe re-opening of schools.

Patience care

The president observed the challenges that are faced by the patience care these were as follow;

  • Insufficient bed capacity
  • Inadequate oxygen  supply
  • High patient numbers
  • High cost of care and holding of dead bodies by the private health facilities

He directed the ministry of health to do as follows

  • To track the installation of pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants at national and regional referral hospitals(15) and the cryogenic plants at 3 designated regions
  • To work with the ministry of education and sports to ensure that schools designate their sick bays with basic infection , prevention and control materials for isolation of mildly sick children once schools open
  • Strengthen home based care (HBC through refreshers training of VHTS and equip the people with HBC took kits
  • Prepare selected districts hospitals in hand to reach areas and islands as treatment that have challenges accessing regional referral hospitals


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