UGANDA STILL RANKS AMONG THE TOP 100 COUNTRIES MANAGING COVID-19 PANDEMIC BETTER GLOBALLY.

Uganda still ranks among the top countries managing Covid 19 pandemic better

A Nurse Receiving A Covid-19 Short in Uganda

Uganda still ranks among the top 100 countries managing the covid-19 pandemic better globally, according to World Statistics website Worldometer’s new rankings. This nation of around 42 million people is currently undergoing a 42-day COVID-19 lockdown which was imposed on 18th June 2021, following the emergence of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus.
All transportation between districts is under lockdown, and public gatherings are postponed. Also, all schools and universities are closed which has resulted in millions of students turning to homeschooling and virtual learning.
But, tourism is still open for those planning their Uganda gorilla safaris/Uganda gorilla trekking tours and safaris, Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda birding safaris, mountain climbing safaris in Uganda, Uganda cultural safaris, and among others. And if you have any questions about a safari to Uganda, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to help tailor-make a Uganda safari trip that’s right for you.

COVID-19 CASES IN UGANDA TODAY

Since March 21st, 2020 when Uganda recorded her first case of COVID-19, the country has so far recorded only 1,111 deaths out of 83,636 confirmed positive cases. And 55,551 have so far been treated using both pharmaceutical remedies and local remedies and have completely recovered. 26,063 cases remain active with only 1,211 cases being critical.

This has placed Uganda among the best-performing country in terms of managing coronavirus on the African continent and overseas. The country ranks on top of several developed economies including our East African Counterparts Kenya, West African giants Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, and Tunisia and so many others.

Kenya has so far recorded 3,671 deaths out of 185,591 confirmed coronavirus cases while 126,956 have recovered. Nigeria stands at 2,121 deaths out of 167,859 confirmed cases and 164,382 have recovered. South Africa has recorded 61,840 deaths out of 2,062,896 confirmed cases while 1,808,082 has recovered. And Morocco stands at 9,292, and Tunisia at 14,843 deaths.
On a global scale, the United States leads the list with 619,980 deaths, followed by Brazil (516,119), India (398,484), and Mexico (232,803), among others.

WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTORS IN THE SUCCESSFUL UGANDAN COVID-19 RESPONSE?

Regardless of the Delta COVID-19 variant that emerged in the country, Uganda has contained the spread of coronavirus and has managed to keep the death toll very low. This is attributed to the following interventions:
1. The Government’s Consistency in Curbing Spread of the Virus and the Strong Control Measures
This is through imposing new coronavirus control measures and revising the already established COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures, for example, by:-

  • Suspending travel from Category 1 countries, except for returning Ugandans. At the moment, only India is listed as category 1.
  • Introducing the negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate travel requirement for all passengers arriving in Uganda from category 2 countries including those on gorilla trekking in Uganda tours. The PCR COVID-19 test certificate must be issued no more than 72 hours before travel. Category 2—consists of the USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
  • These travelers must have to wait for their results before proceeding to their final Uganda safari destinations like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking, Kibale National Park for Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Queen Elizabeth National Park or Murchison Falls National Park for Uganda wildlife safaris and tours, and other destinations.
  • Suspension of public transport between and across districts is suspended for 42 days, except for Cargo Trucks and licensed tourist vehicles taking travelers on Uganda safaris and tours.
  • Pulling back of curfew hours to 19.00Hrs.
  • Closure of all schools and institutions, nonfood markets, Bars, Discos, Sports Betting, and Cinema Halls, places of worship, and sports sessions.

2. COVID-19 Risk Communication
The president of Uganda has been holding periodic press briefings to manage public perception and deliver situation reports about the pandemic. Preventive messaging on local radio stations and television have also played a big role in educating the general public about the Standard operating procedures that can enable the general population to steer clear of Covid19 even as they go about their daily duties.

3. Development and refurbishment of hospitals
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, the Ministry of Health embarked on the development and refurbishment of Regional Referral Hospitals which are currently handling the bigger load of Coronavirus cases across Uganda.
By December 2020, 143 Intensive Care Unit – ICU beds equipped with ventilators and patient monitoring had been obtained and delivered to various health facilities around the country to aid in the battle against Covid.
The beneficiaries of the project include Mulago National Referral Hospital as well as Regional Referral Hospitals of Lira, Jinja, St. Mary’s Lacor, Mbale, Entebbe, Kawempe, Mbarara, Soroti, Naguru, Kabale, Hoima, Arua, Bombo, Fort Portal, Moroto, Mubende and Gulu.

4. Acquiring more ambulances
Among other interventions, the Ministry of Health acquired 98 type B and type C road ambulances and three boat ambulances which were evenly distributed under the regionally coordinated ambulance system to all regions of the country

5. Establishment of COVID-19 District Task Forces
The Uganda government has established district COVID-19 task forces in all 134 districts of Uganda. In several districts, task forces have taken several initiatives to drive their COVID-19 response strategies such as updating risk communication strategies, increasing awareness through mainstream and social media, conducting social mobilization activities, distributing information and educational and communication materials in local languages, and facilitating community dialogue and engagement activities.
6. Community-Based Disease Surveillance
Also, the government set up community-based disease surveillance (CBDS) and contact tracing model that comprised a diverse group of health professionals. The CBDS is lauded as a game-changer in the COVID-19 response.
For example, the CBDS has been most effective in detecting COVID-19 cases at the border districts. Specifically, in Rakai District, the first four community cases were detected through the vigilance of village health teams and local councils by using CBDS guidelines. Evidence shows that positive cases and contacts have been detected through CBDS in several districts including border communities.6 The CBDS was largely successful because of the strong administrative structures in Uganda at the village and grassroots levels.
8. Covid-19 vaccination program
On top of that, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health has been campaigning for a vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, a drive that is still ongoing. A total of 964,000 doses were imported in the first batch, all of which were administered to willing members of the public with major emphasis on the elderly and front-line workers.
An additional 175,200 doses were further imported in the second batch that arrived in the country this month and the vaccines have been distributed to various districts to continue with the vaccination drive.

CONCLUSION

Overall, Uganda is rated highly in handling the COVID-19 pandemic compared with countries in the world due to stringent Corona Virus Standard Operating Procedure. The country is currently under a 42 days lockdown with all transportation between districts suspended, schools and universities closed, and public gatherings postponed.
But if you’re interested in Uganda safaris or Uganda tours, the country is still open for tourism. And it is important to know the highest levels of Uganda COVID-19 safari protocols that are being followed in the country. These are protocols that have helped to put Uganda among those countries that have admirably managed the spread of coronavirus and they will also help to keep you safe on your Uganda vacation.

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