KAMPALA – Experts have called for the unconditional reopening of the country from the lockdown that was imposed by president Museveni in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The experts who held a town hall meeting on October 11 at Royal Suites in Bugolobi under a theme dubbed ‘Is Uganda ready to fully open’ shared that they don’t see any reason why some sectors of the country are still kept under lockdown.
The experts included a lawyer, pharmacist, parent, religious leader and a veteran radio personality.
Sectors like education and entertainment remain closed and according to his most recent address, President Museveni with advice from health experts suggested vaccination of half Uganda’s population as a prerequisite for full reopening.
Dr. Eve Mugasa, a pharmacist shared that agents against covid-19 like Covidex have spurred a lot of innovation in this Covid time which presents an opportunity to harness these by fully opening up.
“A vaccination certificate is a breach of medical confidentiality. Premised on the Hippocratic Oath of consent, we have the prerogative to analyse safety versus efficacy. We also need to consider the emerging trends among the vaccinated,” she said.
She also appealed to medical practitioners to pay more attention to the trends emerging for the treatment of Covid.
Mugasa said medical practitioners should speak out about people’s fears on taking the vaccines and policymakers also need to be sensitive to the medical trends as they push for measures to be undertaken by the government.
According to veteran radio personality James Onen aka Fatboy, the president might be under influence to adopt what he needs to adopt in order to attain funds but that is not how things should be.
Onen says Uganda should think of life with a Covid-19 approach by getting life back through the ‘all normal’ situation and not the ‘new normal’.
“I feel dissatisfied with the way things are held. We should have reopened a long time ago. Let us focus on our intervention with realities on ground,” he revealed.
Ms Jacque Barlow, a parent, shared that as parents, they need to rise up and defend the rights of their children. She explained that it is parents’ primary responsibility and they won’t be in a position to blame the government for not taking their children to schools if they raise a generation of hooligans
“Parents need to wake up and defend the children of this nation, they have a right to education. Let us go out there and read how we can help our children keep safe while learning. Speak up, make choices for every child in this nation to have an education.”
Anne Tendo, a lawyer explained that Uganda should open because the law provides for restrictions but not hurting people’s freedom.
She opines that whatever measures that have been taken are unconstitutional and the government should immediately lift the illegal lockdown orders.
“I call upon all leaders not to force people to vaccinate, let them consent on their own because the vaccine is in its testing stages. There is a legal challenge when the government obtains consent by coercion. Mandatory vaccination must be challenged. Why are some employees being threatened to lose jobs and salaries because of this,” she said.
The discussion that was moderated by Gawaya Tegule and Evelyn Naikoba was also streamed live on the ‘End Lockdown’ Facebook page.