Ministry of Health Clarifies More on Importance of Lockdown
By Sharon Ibenu
On 2nd April 2020, the Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng, while addressing the nation on the current status of COVID-19 in Uganda, explained why the necessity of the lockdown as far as curbing the spread of COVID-19 is concerned.
According to Dr. Ruth Aceng, the purpose of the lockdown is to suppress the transmission by reducing the number of people with any undetected yet positive cases in the community.
“We know from evidence across other countries like Japan and South Korea that extreme social distancing has been an effective intervention to interrupt transmission and keep other uninfected members of the society healthy. In other words, these measures break the chain of transmission,” she said.
In addition, Dr. Aceng also noted that there were two routes to achieve the lockdown purpose which included Mitigation and Suppression.
“Mitigation will help to slow the process but not necessarily stop the epidemic spread. This is done by isolating suspected cases and their household, and social distancing the elderly and people at higher risk of serious illness;”
“Suppression is aimed at reversing the epidemic growth, thereby reducing case numbers to low levels by social distancing the entire population and closing the schools, universities,places of worship, and markets,” she explained.
She further explained that the suppression would help in halting the secondary transmissions from those undetected cases in the community, but also enable their eventual discovery.
As of date, Uganda has registered 44 cases of COVID-19, of which the majority of the cases were travellers returning from the United Arab Emirates(14) and the United Kingdom (14).