Since the beginning of March we have brought you weekly updates of the current Coronavirus situation in the countries and communities we work in. Until a vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered and implemented worldwide we are going to be living in a world where COVID-19 is active. As we know from our experience in the UK the situation is different in every part of the country. This is exactly the same throughout the world and in the countries we work in. This means that very often there will be little change week by week. We have therefore decided after this update we will not be sending out weekly updates. However until Christmas at least, we will send out an update at the end of each month informing you, our Global Neighbours, of the COVID-19 situation in the countries and communities we work in. Please know that we are still in regular contact with all of our in-country partners throughout the world and are doing what we can to support the different communities we work in within the constraints of lockdown. We are again extremely grateful to our Global Neighbours for continuing to support our help build community resilience campaign, this is aiding communities throughout the world to help stem the spread of COVID-19, this has and will continue to make a difference.
At the time of publishing (5.25pm on Tuesday 11th August 2020) this is the current situation in the countries we work in.
There are now 1,297 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda and nine confirmed deaths, there have been no confirmed cases in the communities we work in. Over the last two weeks Uganda have registered their first deaths as a result of COVID-19. Many lockdown restrictions in the country remain in place but last week many businesses were allowed to reopen as shopping arcades opened their doors, along with salons. It has been revealed that Uganda has recorded a 10% increase in the number of people in prison since March, with thousands jailed for alleged violations of COVID-19 lockdown rules. The Ugandan government have also confirmed they will make a decision in September on whether to reopen schools which have been closed since March.
The government continue not to release any data related to COVID-19 and President Magufuli continues to proclaim the country is free from the virus. Last week he stated that COVID-19 is “absolutely finished” in the country and tourists should return to Tanzania.
There are now over 139,538 confirmed cases of the virus (the highest in South East Asia) with a death toll of 2,312 in the Philippines, with no confirmed cases in the community we work in. On Monday the government reported 6,958 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began. After the country eased lockdown restrictions in June there has been a high rise in confirmed cases of the virus. In the last week the capital city of Manila has been put back into lockdown along with other provinces in the country. The lockdown means a return to staying at home except for going out to buy essential goods and going out to exercise. Public transport has also been suspended and domestic flights are grounded. The major government hospitals in Manila city have been forced to close temporarily because infections among health workers have escalated sharply. Some private hospitals have also been forced to turn away patients due to bed shortages. In Iloilo City there has been localized lockdown with 18 barangays being locked down due to having 4 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases. West Habog-Habog where we work is a barangay in Iloilo city but currently has no confirmed cases.
Please do pray for the Philippines as COVID-19 cases continue to surge and please do pray that a vaccine will be found and this virus will halt.