Government COVID Task Force Prepares For Phased Reopening

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • July 29, 2021

With hours remaining to the end of the 42-day lockdown that was instituted on June 18, the Covid-19 national taskforce has recommended phased lifting.

According to sources, there is no resolution that has been agreed on yet regarding the reopening though the taskforce agreed on phased reopening. However more discussions are  still ongoing.
“No resolution yet but agreed is that reopening  be in phased manner but more discussions are still unlocking and things

might be different and might turn around with tomorrow’s meeting,” the source said.

The President, who is expected to address the nation tomorrow evening, remains the final decision maker on this matter .
He imposed a second lockdown following a second wave of the pandemic that increased Covid cases, hospital admissions, and deaths.

According to the Ministry of Health,  the country has registered reversal of epidemiological trends compared to May and June due to lockdown .

At the start of second wave, cases were growing steadily until it reached peak of 1,735 on June 10. However, as per ministry, the numbers began to drop on June 30.

Some of the other  issues discussed are personal protective equipment [for health workers], Intensive Care Units, ambulances and vaccines, among others.

Dr Charles Ayume, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Health,  said it is still too early to talk about what was discussed in the National Taskforce meeting.

He said further discussions about the fate of the lockdown will be discussed today. Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, a medical practitioner, said the lockdown can be lifted partially with limited travels to Kampala, which is the centre of business and has registered more cases.

Dr Abed Bwanika, the Kimaanya-Kabonera Division MP, said the lockdown must be lifted because the level of suffering in communities is too high.

“The key thing is to access vaccines. [But] the option of extending the lockdown will be very detrimental to the nation. We hope that those who are advising the President will advising him rightly,” Dr Bwanika said.

“And there is need to emphasise the need to continue observing SOPs. We are also proposing that government should invest in availing handwashing facilities in the public to aid containment of the virus. They did this in Rwanda,” he added.

Vaccination best solution- Experts 

Experts say vaccination is best solution to reopening though amidst shortage of vaccines the public should continue observing standard operating procedures as the country is opened partially as the country cannot stay in lockdown for long time.
Earlier this week, Dr Monica Musenero, the minister of Science and Technology, also the presidential adviser on epidemics, told this newspaper that when people do not observe SOPs and cases escalate, it  always risks another lockdown.

However, government is hopeful that more vaccines are expected in the country.