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The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has urged his subjects and other Ugandans to strictly observe all the set Covid-19 guidelines as they celebrate Christmas.
In his Christmas message, Kabaka Mutebi encourages Ugandans to follow all the guidance and directives given by medical workers and health experts in order to fight the coronavirus.
“We started the year 2020 with hope and progress but the situation changed immediately when the world was attacked by Covid-19 which has killed people to date,” reads Kabaka’s message in part. “Amidst sorrow engulfing several households in many countries, we once again extend sympathies to relatives and friends who have lost their loves ones to Covid-19.”
The Kabaka has appealed to people not to relax the observance of Covid-19 standard operating procedures even as they celebrate Christmas.
Kabaka’s message comes at a time when several Ugandans are moving from one area to another to celebrate with families on Christmas.
Government is currently engaged in efforts of securing the first COVID-19 vaccines and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda last week told Parliament that the vaccine is expected in the country in March 2021.The premier said that 9 million doses have been ordered and vulnerable groups will be first to be vaccinated when the vaccine roll-out gets underway.
But another statement by the Minister for Information, Communication and Technology –ICT Judith Nabakooba has since amended the timelines to between May and June 2021 as dates for getting the vaccine into the country.
“Government is monitoring the progress of Covid-19 vaccine with the first batch expected in May-June 2021,” said Nabakooba. “Priority will be given to frontline workers, the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. However, we believe that as more vaccines get available on market, we might be able to get them earlier than June.”
A recent statement by the Ministry of Health indicated that the vaccines ordered through the Global Alliances for Vaccines and Immunization- GAVI will be secured from drug maker AstraZeneca.
The Ministry of Health says that once the vaccines get into the country, they will cover 20 percent of Uganda’s population and that other plans are underway to secure additional doses of the vaccine to cover more people.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are three COVID-19 vaccines which certain national regulatory authorities have been advised to use and although none have yet received WHO EUL/PQ authorization, nations like United States of America-USA, United Kingdom-UK, Germany have started immunizing their citizens with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
However, no nation on the African continent has laid its hands on the vaccine yet. The other vaccines include are Moderna and AstraZeneca, whose approvals are awaiting national approvals.
Meanwhile, Kabaka Mutebi also appealed to his subjects to ensure that cleanliness is considered as their first priority in families saying that this will prevent 75 percent of diseases caused by dirty surroundings.
He also encouraged his subjects to ensure that they have more than one source of income for their households amidst efforts by the Kingdom to ensure that communities are developed.