MPs debated the matter following Kadaga’s communication to the house on Uganda’s lackluster response to the threat of Corona Virus, saying her office has received information indicating that Ugandans continue to travel to china in large numbers despite the outbreak of the highly contagious disease.
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has tasked Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth
Aceng to provide parliament with a report on its previous resolution to support
to Ugandan students in students stuck in China and the steps taken to manage
the threat of Corona Virus.
The directive stemmed
from a brief debate by legislators concerning the
limited attention given to public hygiene in the Country despite the continued
travels made by Ugandans to China, which is battle the Corona Virus outbreak.
MPs debated the matter
following Kadaga’s communication to the house on
Uganda’s lackluster response to the threat of Corona Virus, saying her office
has received information indicating that Ugandans continue to travel to china
in large numbers despite the outbreak of the highly contagious disease.
She cautioned MPs to make use of several sanitisers
provided by the Parliamentary Commission at various locations in the Parliament
in order to mitigate the possibility of being infected. Kadaga also
encouraged the legislators to carry personal hand sanitisers wherever they go.
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Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa said the
availability of masks in the country would be important as a measure against
the virus. Katerera County MP, Hatwib Katoto also underscored the need for the
country to import enough masks if necessary so that when attacked by the virus,
there are enough masks for people to use.
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Kagoma County MP, Moses Walyomu Muwanika
appealed to the Health Ministry to strengthen awareness and educate Ugandans especially
on countries where the virus has been reported so that they can exercise
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Kasambya County MP, Gaffa Mbatekamwa said there
should be a directive for all public places like schools to put in place
control measures. Aringa North MP, Godfrey Onzima asked government to issue guidelines
on the virus.
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Benard Atiku, the Ayivu County said that as the
epidemic continues to ravage countries, government is yet to send support to Ugandan
students in China. He demanded an explanation why government has failed to fulfill
its promise to support the students.
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Kadaga ruled that government updates Parliament
on the resolutions taken on the Corona Virus epidemic in China.
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The African Union (AU) recently noted that only
66 per cent of countries in Africa have put in place preparedness mechanisms to
handle a case of coronavirus (COVID -19) if it arises. The emergency meeting of
Health Ministers convened by the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa on
Saturday assessed individual countries’ readiness to tackle the disease and
found critical gaps in their capacity to investigate alerts or be able to
follow up with people in isolation effectively.
Even as no country in Africa has reported a
positive case yet, the AU noted that investing in emergency preparedness for
infectious diseases such as COVID is a worthwhile investment when one considers
the cost of responding to outbreaks. It cited
an example of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that was estimated at
close to USD 3 billion.
Corona virus continues to ravage China where the disease
started in late 2019 with infections currently standing at over 76,392 and
2,348 deaths. Outside
China, the disease has affected 1,402 people in 28 countries with some 11
deaths. On Saturday, two new countries including Lebanon and Israel reported
cases of COVID-19.