OPINION: Dear Ugandans! Here’s why it matters that you take Govt’s Tips on Corona Virus seriously

By Agnes Aistleitner

Coronavirus has been the topic of the past few days and weeks, and it looks like it will remain this way for weeks to come.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced key steps for the country to take while guarding against a possible Corona Virus outbreak anytime. He argued that that it is better to take drastic steps to reduce the potential high incidence of the virus even before one case is registered. I agree with him.

So far Uganda has no confirmed cases. Since neighbouring countries are starting to register cases at an alarming rate, it is a smart move for the Ugandan Government to start preparing the country already.

Coming from a country where the confirmed cases have doubled within 3 days, I have seen the panic full force from my family, friends and all over social media – and I can’t help but wonder how can Uganda prevent this? Asian countries seem to have the virus under control because of social distancing measures and early detection compared to Europe, as such there are some key action points that should be followed:

A traveller gets screened at an airport recently (PHOTO: Courtesy)

Social Distancing

Stay at home, work from home if you can, talk to your boss about this issue (and if you have a company that doesn’t know yet how to handle employees working from home please read online for some practical tips).

For the next 2-3 weeks, avoid gatherings however small they may be. If you must go then just don’t shake hands, carry sanitizers and keep distance to your peers.

If you are young you might be thinking: ‘I won’t get corona,’ chances are you will get it and not even really notice as it feels just like a mild cold but by not staying at home you will endanger the older people around you and your fellow citizens who have weak immune systems – for them acquiring the could be fatal. So don’t do this for yourself, do this for your parents, grandparents and everyone else – this is a time to look out for your peers!

If you must go out then:

  • a) Make sure to wash your hands
  • b) Wipe your phone with sanitizer as well (corona remains on surfaces for up to 2 days)
  • c) Don’t shake hands, hug or touch other people! Keep the distance!
  • d) When standing in any queue make sure to keep your distance!

Self Quarantine: You feel like you are catching a cold, symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, running nose, tired – notify your government via Toll-Free Number 0800100066 and stay home at all costs. Stay at home for at least 14 days, and have your family stay at home with you (at least 70% of it). Ask a friend to run errands for you and make sure to have them drop it off away from the exit, do them a favour and don’t come close! It is highly recommended that everyone above the age of 70 should stay home and self-quarantine as a precaution, minimize contact to the outside.

There is no corona cure: Don’t get scammed, there are always some people who take advantage of such situations. Don’t be fooled!

Businesses inform your staff and make sure they understand how to behave on the premises to ensure safety for all.

If your type of business allows, prepare for remote work: Make sure everyone understands how to behave, regulate customers not to stand too close, in churches and other holy places advise your fellows to stay apart and if you run a business that depends on traffic, ensure your staff at counters wears a mask and gloves. Print out corona information sheets and hang it up at your place of business and help inform the public. If you have staff that could work from home because their work is done mainly from the PC find this guide to help you manage them from home. Reach out here to get more information and support.

Lastly, don’t panic but take the situation seriously!

About the Author: Ms. Aistleitner is an Austrian citizen working in Uganda

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