The Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP), Mathias Mpuuga has highlighted a number of measures that government should undertake to detect and prevent the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant as well as containing it.
In his statement on the floor of Parliament, Mpuuga said that there is growing global concern over the new variant and there is a possibility that the new variant may be more devastating than the delta variant to which a number of lives of Ugandans were lost during the second wave.
Mpuuga said that the risk is made more eminent given the low vaccination rate in the country. So far only 749, 126 people have been fully vaccinated against the eligible population of 22million which translates to a vaccination rate of just 3.4%.
The LOP noted that any upsurge as noticed in the past two waves would cause enormous strain on health facilities, loss of lives, economic and social disruptions as well as depression. It would also lead to further lose of jobs, continued disruption of learning, escalated teenage pregnancies and limited movements in case of heightened lockdown measures.
Mpuuga proposed that there should be a formation of a joint East African Community Taskforce formed by member States to develop a common approach towards the handling of the Omicron variant.
“At the moment the national taskforces of the member states are implementing uncoordinated intervention which has in the past been noted in the stance towards vaccination and continuation of learning,” Mpuuga said.
The LOP called for the development of the Red List of countries from which travelers are momentarily not allowed to access the country.
“A month’s restriction is realistic for it will enable the government attain sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Omicron Variant. This would enable continued travels into and out of the country with limited disturbances to the global supply chain and tourism sector,” Mpuuga noted.
He also proposed for the allocation of a Minimum of 5 Genexpert machines at each point of entry as well as presumption of work by medical personnel who are currently on sit down strike.