Experts have warned that this is a ticking time bomb. In Kenya, on March 27, the country announced a number of measures, taking major parts of the country including the capital Nairobi back into lockdown.
Even with vaccination underway, Ugandans have been warned of the possibility of the country being hit by another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic due to complacency.
In her address last week to mark one year since the pandemic hit the country, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister for Health, said: “We must not abandon scientifically proven prevention and control measures like consistently and correctly wearing masks while in public, social distancing of at least two metres and washing hands with soap and alcohol based sanitisers.”
Since the partial lifting of the lockdown, many Ugandans have abandoned standard operating procedures including wearing facemasks and social distancing.
Kenya is battling the third wave of the pandemic that has outstripped hospital capacity and escalated the deaths.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the head of immunisation at Uganda’s Ministry of Health, says Ugandans should be wary and resume standard operating procedures.
“Nairobi is closed, what message does that send to Uganda? Last time when Kenya was getting overwhelmed, after how long did we get hit? If Kenya is getting problems in March, then I can assure you that our problems will be in April,” Dr Driwale said.
“This is the time to be encouraging people to wear masks because this is a new reality that is coming our way. If you are being prioritised for vaccination you better come and seize that opportunity,” Dr Driwale added decrying the negative propaganda about the vaccine.
“We are going to intensify our efforts of looking for vaccines and if we vaccinate the three million Ugandans who are above 50, we would have made impact on this disease. They are the ones who develop severe forms of Covid. In the public health perspective, what you want to avoid is that hospitalisation, the cost on oxygen, congestion,” he added.
On March 26, we reported a boost in the surveillance at various border points following a surge in Kenya.
Uganda has since registered new Covid-19 strains, first discovered in South Africa and Nigeria that are said to be more contagious.
At the peak of infections at the end of last year, both government and private hospitals were filled to capacity and many patients struggled to find admissions especially in Intensive Care and High Dependency units.
Even with cases going down, experts warn that the country is not yet out of the woods.