OPINION– The Ministry of Health COVID-19 status report of the Government of Uganda has been understating the Kanungu District coronavirus cases.
This has alot of negative impact on the required attention to the district by the government in managing the disease, because the cost of fear of the disease, sickness and deaths is so huge within Kanungu district and the the intensity of the spread of the virus is unimaginable.
This is as a result of the current practice of testing people for COVID-19 and those found positive released to the public. This has caused a disaster and therefore a confirmation that the government has decided to let COVID-19 kill people since there is no follow up on these patients at all.
Most of those who test positive dont even tell their relatives or community members and or continue carrying out their routine activities. This practice has overwhelmed my homeland with COVID-19 infections.
The district loses over 10 people on daily basis and most of these are not delared as COVID related cases while they are, in most instances.
Some known COVID-19 cases are buried locally by people with no formal knowledge of how to handle such and most of the health personnel within the district have suffered from illness of this disease making second or third rounds of infections.
The district recently lost District Medical officer Dr Stephen Ssebudde (RIP), to COVID-19 and medical facilities are semi-closed because of the overwhelming numbers of COVID-19 patients, where most of the health personnel are infected with the coronavirus.
With no doubt, about 60% of the people tested on daily basis are positive for COVID-19 and the question at hand is; why is district COVID-19 taskforce keeping quiet of this alarming situation? or why does it feel powerless in this emergency?
The human interactions have continued normal despite the lockdown and the government has kept quiete most probably because of the tourism nature of Kanungu district and or Kigezi at large and all government officials in the district are well aware of COVID-19 infection levels but it’s like they dont want to conflict with the central government supporting tourism operations:This exchange of life for money must stop:
Health cant be bought from the supermarket, and a health system must be built to manage the increasing unreported COVID-19 numbers.
Therefore, assume government wants Kanungu people to perish on the surface of the earth, its our duty as the community to do burungi bwansi to save our humanity through the following:
1. To coarse government to impose a total lockdown including curfew of every person from 4:00pm to 8:00am
2. Lockdown all the markets and all shops, save for pharmacies and health units and hospitals
3. Engage government for mass testing for coronavirus.
4.. Turn Kambuga secondary school, Kihihi High School, San Govani and Butogota Trinity college Isolation centres.
All positive COVID-19 persons be isolated and on admission should come with beddings, a basin, a plate and a cup and these centres should be attached to hospitals or health sub districts.
5. Call to the public to donate money and food to manage these isolation centres.
6. Those who are admitted to the isolation should pay UGX 50,000= on arrival at the centre.
7.Those found hiding while suffering from the disease or in the public when he/she is contact or other related crimes be sentenced to community service or pay UGX 200,000= after recovery from the disease.
8. All factories, construction sites mainly the tarmac road and milling machines should test their workers weekly for COVID-19 and those found positive be quarantined at the organisation’s cost.
This is the cost of citizenship, a duty we must do and not a luxury.
Let’s be in this together. Richard Habomugisha 0772 859836
The Author is a Communication for Innovation Specialist.