KAMPALA — Government still aims to inoculate 22 million people, about half of the country’s population, to enable the economy to fully re-open, the Chief Epidemiologist at the Covid-19 Taskforce, Dr. Monica Musenero has said.
In an Interview with NTV Uganda on Monday, with less than five days left to the end of the 42-day lockdown instituted by President Yoweri Museveni, Dr. Musenero said lifting coronavirus containment protocols before mass vaccination will have repercussions.
“This is a tough time. Its because we are fighting a very dangerous enemy. This walk hasn’t been easy but here we are, we have achieved something together, with the lockdown in place, we have managed to bring down the cases, which were just climbing astronomically and soon we shall start to see a steady decline in death due to Covid-19,” Dr. Musenero said.
She said that as country ends the 42 days announced by the President Museveni, “we need to wait for guidance from His Excellency”.
“Actually, he is preparing to guide the nation on what we’re going to do next”.
President Museveni is expected to address the country this week.
Dr. Musenero said government has been frustrated by the difficulties in accessing
the vaccines but the praised lockdown, saying “it was in itself meant to push down numbers”.
“The lockdown helped us ro bring down numbers, you all saw the deaths, hospitals were filled to capacity, but we managed to contained that. The lockdown has helped us so much in stopping the spread,” she added.
Health Minister Ruth Aceng recently said government has finalized legal requirements for the purchase of 2 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines through the Africa Export-Import Bank and the African Union.
She added government is at different stages for securing doses from Cuba, Russia, China and the U.K.
Uganda has so far received only 1.14 million doses through the Covax facility and the Indian government.
It is also due to receive a batch of 285,600 doses under Covax in a few weeks, another of 688,800 in August and a donation of 300,000 doses from Sinovac later this month.
Uganda has administered over 1 million doses and registered about 92,724cases since March last year.