KAMPALA – The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has ordered the Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng to present before Parliament a statement alerting Ugandans of the coronavirus that has claimed lives in China.
Oulanyah issued the directive on Tuesday, January 28 in response to a concern raised by Apollo Masika (Bubulo County) who asked the government to take precautions about the prevailing coronavirus in China given the trading relationship the two countries have during the plenary sitting.
Masika noted that a number of Chinese and Ugandans share relations in business that see the citizens of the respective nations make trips to the two countries, this puts Uganda country at high risk of contracting the virus if no control measures are put in place.
The Legislators proposed to have all people coming from China through any entry point be issued with certificates that show they are free from the virus
He explained, “Supposing government doesn’t take much alert on this and if this virus comes in with our business people and Chinese investors the situation will be alarming because last night, I heard that China has lost USD180Bn in this small space of time because of this virus. I request the Government to be more alert on the entry points to make sure that nobody enters Uganda with the virus.”
Indeed, Deputy Speaker concurred with Masika saying the situation is serious and there is need for the Ministry of Health to update the country on the safety measures they have put in place to control the disease from entering the country and this should be done not later than tomorrow.
“For sure this is a serious matter and the ministers responsible should inform the country about the problem and how they are dealing with it so we feel the protection of the state so we feel comfortable,” said Deputy Speaker.
The coronavirus outbreak that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has killed 106 people in China and infected more than 4,520 globally, most of them in China. The virus has caused alarm because it is still too early to know how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.
Minister of State for Planning, David Bahati pledged to have the Minister of Health brief the country over the matter, “The minister for health will be briefing us if she comes in but we know that we are taking precautionary measures and she should be able to brief the country.”