COVID-19: STATE HOUSE BIRDS ‘PROTEST’ AS UGANDAN PRESIDENT ORDERS SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, MOSQUES & ARCADES TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR 21 MORE DAYS

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NEWS EDITOR

THERE was drama in Nakasero State House gardens today as President Museveni updated the Nation about Coronavirus, when a group of birds raided him and started making endless noise as if in protest to his extention of the lockdown for 21 more days!

Birds that were on the nearby trees tried to distort the President’s address by cooing and chirping but Muzeeyi ignored them and instead continued to justify why people must continue staying in their homes for three more weeks.

Disturbed viewers who included a journalist posted on UJA CREAM platform that, “Can’t one minister go and chase the birds in the back ground, we are not hearing well,” and one Rameka Matsiko wrote in Luganda on NRM Buganda Region platform, “Wabeewo agoba ebinyonyi ebyo mu bakagurawundi” literally meaning the birds should be chased away from the President’s background.

These stubborn birds kept on increasing their noise in vain until they gave up for Muzeeyi to finish his 170 minutes address.

WHY I HAVE EXTENDED LOCK DOWN FOR MORE 21 DAYS
Flanked by his Prime minister Dr. Livingstone Ruhakana Rugunda and other ministers, Mr. Museveni who saluted Ugandan Doctors and Health workers for there commendable work towards weakening Coronavirus said, now the remaining problem is the silent carriers.

“That is where the problem is now. That is why we think, it’s safer to be patient. Let’s wait for another 21 days and we really try to see.” Directed President Museveni.

He explained that, “The problem is that,  this silent carrier who is not sick, he or she may not even know that he is sick but has been exposed and defeated the virus. And it is said that, atleast for the 34 days,  he or she will be infecting others.”

“After that he will overcome the virus and will no longer be in position to infect others. But for 34 days, he will be infecting other people. So, there are the infected people that have virus but will not show any signs, yet they can spread to others if they are too near  or through contaminating surfaces.” Reasoned Mr. President.

He argued that testing more people will be useful in the next 21 days. 

He said, we will be testing those who came from abroad between the 07th of March 2020 and 22nd March 2020, their contacts and the alert group. 

“If we do not have the problem of the quiet carriers, the asymptomatic ones, we could say, since the ones that showed signs are within the 54, that proved postive, and we have been treating them, there are no other infected people among Ugandans, and would then concentrate on the travellers, the one that come from outside, etc.” Said Museveni. 

However, Museveni told the country, “We can not say that now because there could be those silent carriers. I know some people may argue that you have tested almost 6000 people,  only 54 are postive, why do you inconveniences us again with another 21 days?”

“The main answer is that these 54 may not be the only ones. Because we got them by first of all blocking some people whom we quarantined near the airport, secondly, we traced their contacts, and thirdly,  some of those who suspect they may have the virus and report.But this doesn’t address the silent virus carriers who will be infecting people for 34 days.” Explains the President. 

Using scientific explanation to drive his point home, Museveni said, “Because if somebody got the virus and is of asymptomatic type and didn’t fall sick, it is circulating in the village, or his home, the whole family or village can’t be asymptomatic.”

“Some of them are infected. Then we will bring and test them. That is why we need to watch a bit more. Let’s just wait a bit. Let’s not move.” Said Museveni appealing to Ugandans, to observe all the restrictions given and summarised below.”

By 05th may 2020 we shall have a clear picture and lifting of the restrictions will start systematically as will be announced.”Said Museveni.

EXTENTION AFFECTS ECONOMY – PEOPLE POWER
Taking to The News Editor Media shortly after President Museveni’s address, People Power’s Lubaga South 2021 MP hopeful Aloysius Mukasa said, the further extention will cripple the economy.

“We are in full support of the 21 days lockdown extension though its to futher affect the economy. Yes we agree, its aimed at eliminating any room of doubt concerning the safety of all citizens.” Said Aloysius Mukasa, Hon. Bobi wine’s blue eyed boy.

M7 FULL ADRESS: 
Reminding Ugandans on how Coronavirus spreads, when you sneeze and then touch a surface, a table, a door handle or a book.

One may even sneeze near the surface and the droplets go on that surface. One may cough near the surface, and the microscopic organisms will settles on the surface.

Others will blow their nose using tissue which is not very thick, they will end up touching the mucus with bare hands and will therefore contaminate every surface they come in contact with.The virus goes from the person to a surface, to a book, a Bible in the church, a table, a door handle, touched after sneezing, the virus will stay there.

On a book, the virus stays for five days, on plastic it stays for nine days waiting for a careless person to come and touch it. And then contaminates it with the virus. These are the only ways this virus will spread that is why it is very easy to defeat it like we did with Aids by behaviour change. 

Actually I think although we are not using that phrase yet, this virus is more of a behaviour issue that anything else because you remember, when Aids started,  people thought it was simply a medical issue, but in the end, treated it by behaviour change.  

Once you either get infected through sneezing, coughing from the infected to the victim, or from the infector to the surface, and then the victim comes and touches his sensitive parts; the mouth, eyes and nose.

This problem is not as big as many of you think. It can be controlled by behaviour change.

When I alerted you about Aids and told you that this thing is easy, because we know where the address is and told you not to go to those places, Aids was comming from mother to Child and we found a solution for that, thirdly it was comming from blood transfusion and we found solutions blocking the three ways from which one can get Aids.

We identified and advertised them. So this is the same issue with Coronavirus.

Given the characteristics of this virus,  it is my opinion that carelessness of the population especially here in Uganda is the main cause of the spread of the virus.

In Europe, USA and Northern Asia they may  have genuine challenges. E.g very cold temperatures, the cold winter. Am told, some of these viruses thrive in cold climates and unlike the bacteria which like warm conditions.

Secondly,  the people in Europe, America and Northern Asia, the way they live and travel, in shared residential blocks, using air conditioning, sharing underground movement systems with large numbers of people, cruise packed ships, that way of life plus the cold climates make the virus to spread.

In our condition, it is much easier to control a virus of this type provided we act, correctly.  After analysis one major way of denying this virus access was to stop large concentrations of people, hence on 18th March 2020  we announced the 34 measures, 21st March 2020 and 30th March 2020 were in that line of dispersing the big concentration of Ugandans so that we deny transport.

THE 34 GIVEN MEASURES
● Close all 73000 education institutions 
● Suspend communal prayers in Mosques,  Churches or Stadia and other open air venues or even indoors 
● Stop all political rallies, cultural gatherings or conferences 
● Ban Ugandans moving to or from category one countries  
● Allow returning Ugandans to undergo mandatory quarantine at their cost for 14 days at their venue identified by the Ministry 
● Allow the non Agriculture gathering points e.g factories, hotels, large plantations, markets, taxi parks to continue and follow the instructions  (that is then)
● Discouraged Ugandan style of extravagant weddings (Hexagonal) 
● A small number of people attending burials 
● Suspended monthly livestock markets in rural areas and weekly food markets
● That time we were allowing public transport provided they follow the SOPs
● We suspended discos, bars, sports, music cinemas and concerts
● Advised public to maintain hygiene measurers 
● Advised public on good nutrition 
● Later, we stopped all passengers coming into the country by air, land or water
● Banned pedestrians entering from neighbouring countries 
● Later stopped public transport system 
● Only food sellers should remain in the markets
● At that time we allowed private vehicles carrying not more that three people 
● Later on, private vehicles were stopped 
● Suspended shopping arcades, hardware shops 
● Directed all non food shops to close, shops selling medicine, selling veterinary and human medicine,  selling detergents should remain open
● Food supermarkets should remain open with clear SOPs
● Established food markets continue to be open 
● Sellers in this market shouldn’t go home. 
● Salons were suspended 
● Factories remain open but with crucial employees 
● Construction sites should continue if they can be able to encamp their workers 
● Social services remain operating 
● Cargo transport by train, lorry, pick-up, tuku-tukus, bodaboda (not passenger) must continue operating 
● URA should not close because cargo is still coming into the country and their services are needed.Gatherings of more that 5 persons prohibited 
● A curfew at 7:00pm to 6:30am except for cargo planes, trains, trucks 
● Permission from RDC for a private car to transport a sick person.
● Apart from security official cars, all other government cars must be parked at the district headquarters to be used by the district health officers during emergency 
● Later, bodabodas were banned past 2pm 

ACHIEVEMENTS 
Now these measures seem to have worked because as of 13th April 2020 we had tested 5664 persons. Out of these, only 54 are postive. Out of these, 4015 were returnees from abroad and 1232 were those who interacted with the returnees or call them contacts and 402 were had not travelled or even been in contact with the returnees or call them, the alert group.  So, you can see, we can’t now celebrate that we have won, but the facts are here.

The following were the tests of day by day up to the 13th April 2020:
■ 21st March 2020, 1 out of 11 was postive
■ 22nd March 2020, all 22 tests were negative
■ 23rd March 2020, 27 out of 35 were postive 
■ 24th March 2020, only 5 out of 143 were postive 
■ 25th March 2020, all 104 tests were negative
■ 26th March 2020, only 4 out of 201 tests were postive 
■ 30th March 2020 all 82 tests were negative 
■ 1st April 2020 all 63 tests were negative
■ 04th April 2020, all 398 tests, no postive
■ 06th April 2020, 231 tests, all negative 
■ 07th April 2020, all 150 tests were postive 
■ 8th April 2020, only 1 out of 214 tested postive
■ 09the April 2020, all 338 were negative
■ 10th April 2020, all 439 tested negative 
■ 11th April 2020, all 555 tests were negative 
■ 12th April 2020, only 1 out of 169 was postive 
■ 13th April 2020, all 639 tests were negative 
■ 7 patients were discharged from Entebbe Hospital, 8 are due to be discharged from Mulago Hospital and 1 in Adjuman was discharged. 
■ Testing 372 inter-state cargo drivers who entered through the Malaba entry point and all tested negative. 
■ The Uganda curve of the discovered infections day by day, our curve is flattening.
 
NO FREE FOOD FOR TEACHERS
Food support is mainly for urban groups that depend on daily earning from different activities that were suspended in this fight against the virus. They include; Those working in hair Salons,  bars, night clubs, garages, bodaboda riders, selling none food items in markets, etc.

The qualifications for these food grants are two; Depending on the daily earning that was suspended by anti Corona measures.  And two,  you do not grow your own food.

Villages will not be given free food. The one who gets a monthly salary (like teachers) will also not receive food relief, they should  wait for their salaries.
 
21 DAYS EXTENTION GUIDELINES 
● Stay at home except those carrying cargos
● Youth don’t loiter in trading centres, be in gardens with parents  
● Ladies spending nights in markets should be given treated bed nets, obuveera and KCCA should fumigate markets.
● RDCs should set up operation officers in charge of receiving calls for those with sick people who want permission to use ptivate means
● No body has a right to insult a member of security forces
● Security should use reasonable force to subdue the violent. Throwing stones to security forces is very dangerous
● On hostility to soldiers, Museveni has cleared the use of  live fire to disable stone throwers who endanger security forces in rural areas
● Use of kiboko by LDUs not allowed 
● Loans, M7 is going to discuss with the banks to see how to help those with loans
● M7 softens on bicycles and bodabodas, wants suspension lifted
● Westnile power to be handled by legal team 
● District Medical Officers must know patients who need palliative care. They will liase with RDCs to help them.
● Wuhan children to be airlifted back at a cost

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