Last week the Global Health Organisation confirmed the Coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
The situation in the UK has changed significantly in the past week, with confirmed cases of the virus rising along with an increasing death toll. Many people are now working from home, churches are no longer meeting, groups and gatherings have all been canceled and schools will close their gates tomorrow afternoon. These are just some of the things that have happened in the UK in the past week due to Coronavirus with further restrictions expected.
As we shared yesterday the Signpost International office is now closed and staff are working from home. But despite not being in the office we are continuing to work together as we walk alongside disadvantaged communities experiencing poverty and injustice.
As to be expected the majority of our news coverage in the UK is all about COVID-19 and the impact it is having on the UK. At Signpost International we work in countries and communities throughout the world. We want to share with you the current situation regarding Coronavirus in the countries we work in overseas. As you will be aware the situation regarding the virus is changing all the time throughout the world meaning information will quickly become outdated. So at the time of publishing (3pm on Thursday 19th March 2020) this is the current situation in the countries we work in.
Uganda does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 as yet but is surrounded by countries with reported cases. On Wednesday the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni announced restrictions across the country as part of preventive measures against the virus. Schools will be closed for a month beginning on Friday and a ban on all public gatherings has been implemented. Although there are no confirmed cases at the moment in Uganda, people are anxious with a lack of information. Health Care in Uganda is under-resourced meaning that when Coronavirus hits it could be severe. This is why preventative measures are being implemented at this time.
Currently there are 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tanzania with the first one being confirmed on Monday in the Northern town of Arusha.
There have been 202 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines with 17 deaths.
On March 17th the government declared a state of calamity in the country for 6 months. They have also suspended financial markets.
There are currently no confirmed cases in the neighbourhood of West Habog Habog where we work. But West Habog Habog is a neighbourhood in Iloilo City where there are currently 29 people under investigation for COVID-19. They are currently discussing the possibility of a lock down in Iloilo City in the next few days to slow down COVID-19.
Please do remember these countries and communities in your prayers. We’ll continue to keep you up to date with the Coronavirus situation in the countries and communities we work in.