Former Minister of State for Primary Health care, Sarah Opendi has Monday requested Ugandans to remain calm as the country prepares for the now inevitable outbreak of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.
She made call following a matter of national importance that was raised by Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Semujju Nganda questioning government’s preparations.
Semujju said that while neighbouring countries grappling with this deadly virus like Kenya and Rwanda have moved to close education institutions, because of the way this viral infection is spreading, nothing of this sort was happening in Uganda which is not only a gateway to these territories but also a key trading partner.
With no Health Minister around, Opendi who is now the State Minister for Mineral Development shouldered the burden saying she had been following the matter keenly.
She downplayed the tense panic that has gripped Ugandans ever since the infection was reported in neighbouring countries. She instead urged Ugandans to religiously follow Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines that emphasize good personal hygiene.
“I just want to appeal to the public to remain calm; let us stop the panic and the social media reports. Corona virus is there yes, it can also be self-eliminating but also let us take the advice,” she urged.
Opendi further noted that the fatality rate of Coronavirus is way below compared to other diseases such as Ebola and Marburg.
It is understood that yesterday a suspected case of COVID-19 was reported in the far flung district of Kanungu district while social media has been awash with reports of different individuals self-isolating.
Today, Health Minister Jane Ruth Achieng is expected to brief parliament on preventive mechanisms the country has undertaken in reaction to the disease, with David Bahati the State Minister for Planning following suit on Thursday.
It is expected that Bahati shall present statistical evidence of COVID-19 impact on the Ugandan economy.