Uganda, Zambia hit by Covid spikes. Are political rallies to blame?

By Musinguzi Blanshe

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Posted on June 23, 2021 11:53

Uganda had been praised for its initial coronavirus response. Now, a more lethal wave of Covid-19 is sweeping the country, in part driven by political decisions. Questions remain over the swearing-in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni, which may have acted as a super-spreader event. Zambia, with elections in August, has some tough decisions to make.

Uganda received plaudits from many health experts for its efficient management of the first coronavirus wave. However, the country has been hit by a deadly second wave, prompting Museveni to declare a total lockdown of 42 days. No one is allowed to move except essential workers and those attending to emergencies.

In an article published by the American Journal of Public Health in 2020, Ahmed Sarki, Alex Ezeh and Saverio Stranges applauded Uganda as a “model for pandemic management in Africa”.

Why the plaudits? Uganda had scored highly in pandemic risk communication, testing and community task forces instituted in all districts for surveillance. Although some Asian countries such as South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan are considered as exemplary around the world in their public health response to the pandemic, the authors argued that Uganda’s response, both in African and global contexts,

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