Uganda bracing for more infections despite lockdown

Wednesday July 14 2021
Uganda Vaccination efforts

A teacher receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a health center in Kampala, capital of Uganda, March 31, 2021. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KAJOBA | XINHUA


Uganda will see an increase in coronavirus infections in the middle of July despite a lockdown, the National Planning Authority (NPA) says.

NPA said according to their monitoring module, the country is then projected to witness a gradual reduction in the number of the new cases by August 2021.

Uganda is experiencing a vicious second wave of infections, with high community infections and a number of new variants of which Delta is dominant.

Both the Health ministry and NPA have projected a continued rise in the new cases until mid-July although slightly lower than those of the past weeks.

President Yoweri Museveni imposed a 42-day lockdown three weeks ago to slow down the spread of the virus.

According to the NPA, factors fuelling new cases include the ineffectiveness of the lockdown, capacity of health system, population structure in terms of age and underlying conditions, and access to health facilities.


Many of those with the virus have not been tested and while others cannot access treatment centres and either die from home or try out home-based care. The health system is already overwhelmed and finding a free bed in public hospitals is near impossible while the private hospitals have raise treatment costs, locking out ordinary Ugandans.

“There is a need for increased testing, more enforcement of the lockdown with more measures to curb community transmissions and increased public awareness aimed at behavioural change in the population,” said Dr Joseph Muvawala, NPA Executive Director.

When the president announced a lockdown three weeks ago, the country was recording a daily average of 1,200 new cases but three weeks into the lockdown, the country is recording an average of 500 new cases a day.

But this curve, experts say, is going up again as the virus matures or mutates in the community.


Dr Muvawala said that despite its devastating effects on the economy and livelihoods, the lockdown is working and the situation would have been worse without it.

By Thursday, the country had recorded a cumulative 85,581 cases from 1,373,062 tests conducted. So far, 2,033 deaths have been reported.

The government has been blamed for the lives lost during this wave for poor planning, misuse and embezzlement of Covid-19 relief funds.

“As planners, we are responsible for the death of Ugandans. We didn't do a good job. We would have done better but we weren't given an opportunity to do so; we are not part of the Covid-19 committee,” Dr Muvawala said.

But Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said the ministry had concluded the initial legal requirements to procure 2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.