The Ugandan government has initiated plans to kick-start the “systematic” and “phased” reopening of the economy as the country gains considerable ground in successfully countering COVID-19.
Uganda has so far registered a total of 79 COVID-19 cases, most of whom were discharged.
According to Director General Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa, all the 18 cases currently admitted in the hospitals are in stable condition.
Out of these 18, 2 are admitted at Mulago National specialized hospital, 9 at Entebbe Grade B hospital, 4 at Arua Regional Referral Hospital, 1 at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, 1 at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital and 1 at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital.
6 Kenyans and 8 Tanzanian truck drivers who recently tested positive for COVID-19 were repatriated to their respective countries.
Officials who attended the Cabinet meeting on Monday said Ministers received a detailed briefing on the state of affairs regarding the war on the novel virus.
They were also briefed on the virus’ effects on the economy.
“After the briefing, it was decided that the economy should be opened in phases starting May 5 when the lockdown is expected to expire,” said a source who spoke to us on condition of anonymity as Cabinet briefings are confidential.
“So, the National Taskforce in charge of combating COVID-19 will spend the better Part of this week speaking to experts, analyzing the situation and studying the impact of ending the lockdown which has controlled the spread of the virus.”
Ready to reopen
This task-force will next Monday provide a detailed briefing to the president and Cabinet to decide on the way forward.
“If there are no new cases and the president is satisfied with the situation, we could see our people returning to work but under very stringent conditions aimed at maintaining social distancing and minimizing infection,” a Cabinet Minister told ChimpReports on Tuesday.
“Public transport will be controlled and restrictions on public gatherings might stay. The COVID-19 response teams will guide us on the way forward.”
The lockdown has left millions of Ugandans in a dire financial situation and threatened millions of jobs.
But officials are worried that a poorly planned reopening of the economy could erode the gains realized in combating the deadly virus.
For example, Ghana reportedly recorded 271 new cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours just a week after lifting the lockdown in Accra
This was the highest single day toll Ghana had recorded since the coronavirus outbreak.
President Museveni will this Tuesday deliver a national address with Ugandans eager to listen to steps being taken to reopen the economy.