As Uganda tries to get back to work after going into hibernation for close to 3 months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Ugandans are faced with a new lifestyle, one that’s quite different from what they were used to before this year began. The post coronavirus Ugandan lifestyle is one that includes caring about who is touching you or even just close you.
Ugandans have to now to adopt a culture of wearing face masks in order to avoid triggering a big wave of new coronavirus infections. And in a bid to have this new lifestyle inculcated into the core of the Ugandan society, the government of Uganda has launched a nationwide distribution of face masks. The First Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Moses Ali, on Wednesday, flagged off the mass distribution of face masks at Ministry of Health Headquarters in Kampala.
These masks are coming after the president lifted some of the strictest lockdown measures that had seen the country almost completely shut down for over 80 days. Some of these measures included
- Closing of all public and private schools around the country, a move that saw over 15 million young Ugandan forfeit their classrooms and headed back home.
- Banning of all domestic public means of transport which included taxis or matatus, buses, coasters, Boda Bodas, Tuku tukus, water ferries
- Closure of Uganda’s airspace and airport to entry and exit of all passenger planes
- Closure of all places of public gathering such as churches, mosques, public swimming pools, bars, night clubs, wedding venues, taxi parks, hotels and shopping malls,
- The imposition of a night curfew beginning at 7:00 pm and ending at 7:00 am
- Banning of private cars from the roads except when executing duties directly related to COVID-19.
The Minister for Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said the distribution is set to start with communities in border districts of Amuru, Kyotera, Adjumani, and Rakai. The move follows President Museveni’s directive during his 14th nation address that all Ugandans aged six and above would be given free face-masks after people raised complaints that they cannot afford to buy the masks.
The mask must be worn all the time one is in public in a bid to protect themselves against the spread of coronavirus. According to Dr Aceng, the government will spend Shs 2 billion to distribute 30 million face masks countrywide. The Ministry of Health has so far received 750,000 masks bought at Shs 79 billion from private manufacturers with each face mask bought at Shs 2,400 according to the minister.
The masks are made up of 3 layers with the outer layer made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, the middle layer made up of chiffon, and the innermost layer is made of cotton. Uganda reported a total of 665 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Wednesday with 119 COVID-19 recoveries and no death.
We wait to see how Ugandans embrace this new lifestyle culture. Stay stunned for all the Coronavirus updates