COVID-19 Resurgence: Uganda Police Scale Up Curfew Operations

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Police have started erecting barricades at critical junctions in Kampala to enforce curfew as the country registers a spike in COVID-19 cases, Chimp Corps report. 

“We would like to inform the general public that curfew operations have been scaled up and check points reinstated,” said Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigire.

“Those found violating the 9pm curfew will be handled in accordance with the Ministry of Health regulations against the spread of Covid 19,” he added.

Results of COVID-19 tests done on 29 April 2021 confirm 39 new cases.

The cumulative confirmed cases are 41,905 with 342 deaths.

Health Minister Dr Ruth Aceng on Friday said Uganda us now experiencing a gradual increase in the COVID-19 cases as shown by the statistics collected countrywide in the last 6 weeks which is an inclination towards the beginning of a resurgence.

Aceng addressing the media in Kampala on Friday

“This surge is already showing in districts that have remained on high alert and have been carrying out active surveillance like Arua, Gulu, Kiryandongo, Oyam, Kitgum, Jinja, Tororo, Adjumani, Moyo, Wakiso and Kampala,” said Aceng.

“It is important for us to note that for viral epidemics, the second wave is usually more aggressive than the first wave,” she emphasised.

Some of the factors contributing to the resurgence include non-adherence to public health and social measures which is a common observance in the current situation; increased travel following the opening of National borders/ resumed flights/ public transportation; opening economies, workplaces, schools with limited planning and general COVID-19 fatigue leading to non-compliance to SoPs and complacency.

The curfew was imposed last year as a measure against further spread of the virus especially in social places.

However, bar remain open while Kampala’s nightlife has been booming in recent months.

Police had reduced the number of checkpoints in the city.

There are currently five variants that have been detected in the country, some of which enable the virus to transmit more efficiently from person to person, and infection from some may result into more severe illness. 

The variants currently circulating are from India, South Africa, Nigeria and UK.

Uganda commenced vaccination against COVID-19 on 10th March 2021 targeting the priority groups of; health workers, security, teachers and people aged 70 years old and above.

However, this group was later revised to include people aged 50 years and above and those aged 18-50 years living with comorbidities such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart/liver/kidney disease. 

“To-date, we have vaccinated a cumulative number of 330,077 people with the AstraZeneca Vaccine,” said Aceng.

The Minister said the cost drivers for the resurgence plan include; enhanced surveillance, active case search, contact tracing, procurement of test kits, personal protective equipment, critical care support, strengthening community engagement and risk communication and supporting vaccination team’s country wide for a period of 6 months.

The cost of the resurgence plan is estimated to be USD 290.2 million.

This does not include the costs of vaccines, according to Aceng.

Travelers from USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania have been advised to consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda.

Source – ChimpReports

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