SITUATION CATCH 22: M7 SENDS HOME 15M STUDENTS CLOSING 5000 SCHOOLS AS HE GIVES 13 TOUGH DIRECTIVES TO TAME CORONAVIRUS

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NEWS EDITOR

JUST like we told you today morning, President Museveni has directed that 50,092 schools and other higher institutions of learning on Friday March 20th 2020 must be closed, parents should pick their children by mid day!

Read Also: https://newseditor.co.ug/2020/03/18/national-crisis-m7-to-direct-all-schools-churches-parliament-shutdown-as-gatherings-are-banned-over-coronavirus/

Classes are likely to resume after 30 days.

This is when government can be in position to ascertain whether the country is totally free of the pandemic!

In all this, students that will be affected are over 15M especially P.7, S.4 and S.6 candidates.

Addressing the Nation at State House Entebbe on Wednesay evenning about Coronavirus, Mr. Museveni read out 13 directives which must be followed if the country is to tame this deadly virus which has invaded the world claiming lives of human race!

Directing all schools to be shutdown on Friday and banning mass gatherings Museveni said, “We must do everything possible to ensure that this enemy (Coronavirus) does not come here. Does not find plenty of dry grass, piled up and ready for ignition. What is the dry grass that can help to start and sustain fire of Coronavirus epidemic?”

“It is the big masses of people, gathered togather and in close proximity. What are these masses of people that are gathered in groups that can easily aide the spread of the virus?” Asked the president.

M7 DESCRIBES CORONAVIRUS 

He said: It looks like a crown. This is a new virus that belongs to the family of the common cold. It makes some people very sick because being a new virus, all of may not have immunity against it. Because we have never been exposed to it.

Will Uganda survive?

Fortunately, after listening carefully to our scientists, and after watching commentators in the countries where this virus is already active, it seems to have two characteristics that will help us to survive it and defeat it.

Number one, it does not kill many of the people infected. 150000 infected world wide by yesterday, only about 5000 of them had died. Which works at 3%.

With Ebola in Uganda, the percentage of the people dying was 67%. So it seems Coronavirus doesn’t kill as much as Ebola. 

Secondly, this virus enters the body only through the soft parts of the body. Like the nose, eyes and the mouth. It can not go through an intact skin like some of the diseases use to like Leprosy used to do which spread by sharing clothes.

So that means, such diseases could easily enter through other parts not necessarily the soft parts like Coronavirus does. 

This therefore means, that if even you go closer to the body of infected person,  he or she can only infect you if she sneezes (blowing out) or coughing. If the infected person sneezes or coughs out near you, so that the tiny and invisible mucus or spittle small saliva enter your nostrils, although the infected materials from the body land on the surface like a table, the chair, a door handle, where the virus can stay alive for three hours,  and then you touch it, and then you touch your soft parts of the body, the eyes, the mouth and the nose. 

That is how it will affect you.  It is either you are near someone who sneezes out or who coughs out, or what he coughs lands on a surface where the virus can stay alive for three hours, and when you touch there and touch your soft parts,  that is when it can affect you.

WHAT CABINET RESOLVED

Museveni said: The cabinet under my chairmanship on Monday day March 16th 2020 sat and decided as follows; Although the key ration of the virus is not very high compared to for instance Ebola, this is only if the victims are in perfect health. The virus would kill only 3% of those infected if the 100% are in perfect health. Only 3% will die.

With health, young people for instance, some information says that an infected person may not even know he or she is infected. Coronavirus can go through him or her without any one knowing that was attacked.

The real danger in our society however, is for the old people, 70 years and above, and people with other diseases that they have been surviving with. Such as TB, HIV, Diabetes, Hypertension and Cancer. It is these that you will be very sick or even die. 

Since we have a very large number of people living with HIV (1.4M), having Diabetes (800,000),Hypertension  (4.8M), TB (100,000 per a year), I didn’t get cancer figures.

CLOSING SCHOOLS

The Head of State said: The National resistance movement has promoted education. As a consequence today, there are 10.7M children in the primary schools, 2M children in the pre-primary schools, 2M students in the secondary schools, 314000 students in the universities and Tertiary institutions. This is a total of almost 15M young ugandans distributed in 36000 both private and public primary schools, 7000 private and public pre primary schools, 5500 secondary schools government and private, 49 universities and 1543 Tertiary institutions, technical schools, teachers training colleges, vocation schools, etc.

This is a total of 5688 points with concentrations of 1000 or more persons each.

So these 15M Ugandans are gathered in 51000 points  in the former ofor schools, colleges and so on.

When I visited Masaka SS in Masaka town, it had 4000 students without counting other unknown pupils staying in that compound. It is therefore wise that we temporarily remove these concentration points by closing all the primary and secondary schools, President primary as well as all the universities and Tertiary institutions for one Month starting with Friday March 20th 2020 at mid day.

All these institutions without exception should close so that we deny this virus those concentrations. 

The  42M Ugandans are divided into about 8M homesteads. Once the education population goes home, they will disperse into these homesteads that have much less concentrations. 

If the 15M where to disperse equally into the 8M homesteads, each homestead will take two students. 

So these concentration groups, you go home and the concentration disappears. And if all the homesteads are to receive equal numbers, each one will get two additional people. It is a smart way of avoiding this concentration in the face of this danger.

I have decided to close the educational institutions even before the occurance of a single Coronavirus incident because I have observed the situations in other countries. Once the epidemic breaks up, there is so much stamped and the first aspect to be affected is the transport. 

You have seen how airports were crowded with people. That crowding is a perfect ground for new infections. In trying to run away, I think people will get more infections thanot when people were still in one place. Let us move early to avoid the stamped.

CHURCHES, MOSQUES SHUTDOWN 

“Once we deal with the concentrations in Education institutions,” Said Museveni, “The next concentration we must deal with are the religious gatherings. Prayers in Churches,  in Mosques, open air prayers, services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”

He told the Nation: In the interest of our Peoples health, this should be suspended for a period of one month with immediate effect. 

Prayers will continue but in homes. When I was reading the Catechism at Kyamate in 1957,  one of the things I learnt, God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent. Since God is everywhere,  let’s pray from our homes. Yes we have been praying togather it has got its advantages, but if it has got a danger, then surely logically we can not insist.

The religious leaders can use the radio and television stations to continue preaching. It’s only Pope Francis as usual set a good example of enlightenment on this very matter by abandoning his customary preaching in St. Peters Square and instead using the television. I saw the Pope. He is the one who took the initiative that ‘Please don’t come i dont want any one to be sick and say I am the one who called you..’ They Pope is honest and courageous. I think he is preparing his way to heaven.

PUBLIC & CULTURAL GATHERINGS

The next category of mass meetings are the political or cultural public meetings. Public rallies, conferences, elections, etc. All these are hereby forbidden for 32 days with immediate effect.

OUTBOUND MOVEMENT 

On this Museveni said: Up to today, March 18th 2020, Uganda by the mercy of God has been spared by not having even 1 case confirmed of the coronavirus. There have been false alarms. However, there are countries in the world that have had many cases. Countries like Italy,  France, South Korea, China, USA, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway, Austria,  Malaysia, Pakistan and Sunmorino. 

With immediate effect,  we ban all outbound movement by Ugandans to or through these countries again for 32 days.

Foreigners going to those countries are free to do so provided they don’t intend to come back within the prohibited time. We extend our sympathies to those countries and commend them for fighting on behalf of the human race.

UGANDANS COMING HOME FROM THE DIASPORA

Museveni said: We can not stop Ugandans comming back from abroad even if in one of the category one countries mentioned above. However,  such Ugandans will be put in a mandatory quarantine in a designated place but they will pay the cost for food and other services. If they want to avoid inconvenience or cost, let them remain in the country of their temporary aboard and stay there until the problem is over. Actually we have told our students abroad  to stay there.

NON AGRICULTURAL WORK PLACES

Such as factories, Hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi parks, etc. These should continue functioning but with standard operating procedures put out by the ministry of health. These can continue operating but with guidelines. With the dos and the don’ts put up by the ministry of health. These will include compulsory handwashing by persons who enters or exit those work places, any body with symptoms of sickness shouldn’t be allowed to access that work place for any reason, the employers should install temperature monitors, etc..The ministry will publish the details.

WEDDINGS BANNED

Museveni said: The issue of Uganda stylish weedings that brings togather a pentagon of groups. These include the clan members of the bride groom, the clan members of the bride, the  maternal clans of the two sides, the school alumni, neighbours and friends. 

Big gatherings of people comming for wedding can be a source of great danger. We have therefore decided that weddings of this type should suspended. If couples are in hurry, they should go for a purely scientific weddings.  Only involving the core stakeholders who are the bridegroom, the bride, the best man, the matron and the priest or CAO as long as the number is less than 10 people. Later at an appropriate time, it can be followed by a Ugandan stylish marriage. 

FUNERALS 

A  funeral gathers relatives, friends, associates, neighbours etc, turn up in big numbers. Again with this virus, it is a danger point. Many people can be infected from there. Giving directives on this Museveni stated that: We can not ban or postpon burials for 32 days. It can not be rational. Therefore we recommend, the burial is done by the relatives who are near by. They should be the ones to burry. Then the mourning could be later when the rituals could be done. This may combine both science and culture.  Most importantly, will be safe for the participants. If the person has died ofrom Coronavirus, the state will take over without involving the family as we did for the Ebola victims. We should not replicate the lack of enlightenment that was exhibited in West Africa where the rituals of washing the dead bodies was maintained even when people were dying from Ebola. Both the bathers of the dead bodies also ended up dying themselves in service of a non scientific cultural practice. By confronting this disease with enlightened scientific based actions, we shall defeat it as we did with Ebola and Aids.

FARMERS

Crop, cattle, and fishermen, these should follow hygiene practices especially the fishermen. Monthly markets will however be suspended for 32 days. Effective immediately.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Boda bodas, Mini buses, buses, taxis. The advice is not to travel unless if necessary (if using public means). If you do not have your private car stay home if travel is not essential. Companies that operate these means should follow SOPs (precautions) by MoH. However in the event of an outbreak, public transport will be forbidden and area will be isolated. Effective immediately.

TEMPORARILY STOPPED MERRY MAKING, DISCOS, SPORTS, MUSIC SHOWS, BARS, CINEMAS, CONCERTS. Suspended for 32 days. Effective immediately.

HYGIENE must be maintained. Reference to Ministry of Health recommendations.

PROPER NUTRITION

Government has urged Ugandans to feed well, eat greens and fruits to boost their immune system 

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