Uganda has reached a critical stage in the battle against COVID-19, the minister for ICT and National Guidance Hon Judith Nabakooba has said.
While addressing the p0ress on Sunday, Hon. Nabakooba noted that the number of people dying on a daily basis is far more than those that are being officially recorded.
“The Ministry of health estimates that there are even more unknown COVID-19 deaths happening in the community before reaching the health centers. This is therefore the time when we all must wake up and take seriously the prevention guidance that has been given” Nabakooba said.
She added that this is a dangerous disease that kills within a short period.
“If you contract COVID-19 today, there are high chances that you may not be able to survive. This is because the treatment centers in the public and private hospitals are full to capacity. The number of critically ill people that need oxygen on a 24 hour basis has exceeded the available capacity” she noted.
According to Nabakooba, government spends about 22 million for every critically ill COVID-19 patient that is admitted on oxygen, and that the same amount is used to treat patients for the entire time spent in the High Dependency Unit on oxygen.
“For the private hospital, critically ill patients are spending about 5 million daily in order to stay on oxygen. Everyone must therefore understand that COVID-19 is not a cheap disease. Going by the costs, it is obvious that majority of Ugandans cannot afford this treatment” she added.
Uganda expects to obtain the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine by May or June 2021 and priority will be given to frontline medical workers, the elderly and people with existing health conditions.
Minister Nabakooba also clarified that there will not be any lockdown during the festive season apart from the existing curfew and other SOPs. She further noted that Discotheques and music concerts are still under lock and are not allowed to operate.
“There will not be any lockdown during the festive season apart from existing curfew and other SOPs. However, I call upon everyone to be extra careful. Discotheques and music concerts are still under lock and not allowed to operate. For those traveling, ensure that you follow all the guidance on masks and social distancing” she warned.