By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
COVID-19 Is nearly unavoidable, teach masses how to live with It
When COVID19 broke out in Uganda and its at the infancy of its spread in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni and his leadership ensured that the mind of everyone was preoccupied with presence of the virus in the country and how to avoid it. Indeed, every person would stay glued on radios and TVs to listen to the President and scientists on the progress of the pandemic in the country.
This was accompanied by effecting and abiding by the measures that were put in place to stem its spread including respecting curfew time, social distancing and wearing face masks, despite the lack of compliance by many government officials as well as the general public which happened thereafter. The causes of the lack of compliance will be discussed at a later date.
Although Uganda was initially widely credited for containing the spread of coronavirus, to date, nearly 30,000 Ugandans have tested positive and more than 200 have succumbed to it.
This consistent upward trend in the number of the new cases and deaths despite the available measures is appalling. Is the persistent increase in the number of new cases and deaths as a result of not complying with the COVID19 measures? I think not to a larger extent.
This is because, the new cases and deaths also include top government officials and highly responsible people whom you can least expect to have violated the precautions. Some of these include the Political Commissar of the Uganda Police Force, AIGP Asan Kasingye, NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, etc. Former Deputy government spokesperson Shaban Bantariza has since succumbed to the deadly virus. The same has also happened to many global leaders like the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump. They duo recovered from COVID19. You can’t say all these people were reckless with their lives.
What this literally means is that anybody from anywhere can acquire coronavirus regardless of what precautionary measures he or she takes.
In an interview with one of the local TV stations recently, opposition politician, Kizza Besigye who is also a medical Doctor, said given the dynamics of the virus, everyone is bound to acquiring it.
“Eventually, everyone will acquire COVID. It can no longer be avoided, everyone will get it. No matter the precautions we are taking, everyone will get COVID at the end of the day,” Besigye said.
He asserted that the precautionary measures taken are only meant for people to keep moving as they pray to acquire it when the vaccine or cure has been found.
People who have visited top medical facilities in the country where the COVID19 patients are treated reveal that the facilities are already overwhelmed by the numbers and project that the worst would hit the country in the near future.
What is surprising however, is that government of Uganda seems not to appreciate this fact. Their emphasis generally remains on only ‘singing’ precautionary measures and apportioning blame for the increasing numbers on individuals and politicians who violate the SOPs.
Given the earlier examples, government’s narrative must immediately change or swiftly amended if we are save the people from the disease. Much as the public must continue observing the guidelines, our focus should shift to research and sensitising the masses on how to live with the virus now that we understand that COVID is nearly unavoidable.
Since no cure has been found yet, I am looking forward to an evening where President Museveni and his scientists will address the nation on findings of their research on what Ugandans should do to keep their bodies strong as well as how to behave – what to eat and not after testing positive for COVID-19.
The numbers of people who have recovered from the disease even before the cure is found, communicate to the fact that testing positive for COVID is not a death sentence.
The earlier we concurrently pushed for observance of COVID19 precautionary measures and how to live with it, the better. Come to think about it.
The writer is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.