In our last update we informed you that we would no longer be sending out weekly updates on the current Coronavirus situation in the countries and communities we work in, as in many places there is little change week by week. Like we said then we will continue to publish updates once a month for our Global Neighbours which will illustrate the overall situation relating to Coronavirus in the countries we work in.
At the time of publishing (2.30pm on Friday 4th September 2020) this is the current situation in the countries we work in.
There are now 3,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda and 33 confirmed deaths, there have been no confirmed cases in the communities we work in. Over the past month Uganda has seen its largest increase in cases with the country reporting the highest percentage increase in new COVID cases in Africa, according to the Health Emergency information and Risk Assessment report of the World Health Organization.
With the increase in cases President Museveni has appointed a committee to enforce lockdown restrictions. In a televised address, Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, said the committee chaired by a senior military officer will support the enforcement of all presidential directives and health ministry standard operating procedures. “The presidential and chair of the national task force, having observed the poor compliance to his directives to guide us and help prevent infections has appointed a multi-sectoral technical task force to coordinate all sectors, institutions and organisations.” The minister said the team will among others support the nationwide distribution of face masks and enforce their proper usage in the community.
The task force have also advised the president not to reopen schools and churches in view of the increase of cases across the country. However the government has given the green light to reopen universities and other educational institutions to final year students undertaking health-related training in order that they can complete their studies.
The country along with the United Nations have placed one of the largest refugee camps in Africa in lockdown. Kyangwali in Southwestern Uganda is home to more than 12,000 refugees but due to the rise in COVID cases the camp has been locked down.
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. As a result of this statement masses of tourists are flocking to the country as fears of COVID are rapidly fading in Tanzania. Due to the large number of tourists coming in, Tanzania will top the Eastern African community partner states in economic growth this year. This has largely been down to president Magufuli’s decision not to close businesses during the COVID pandemic.
There are now over 232,000 confirmed cases of the virus with a death toll of 3,373 in the Philippines. In the last few weeks the number of confirmed COVID cases have thankfully started to decrease. In the countries capital, Manila, more hospital beds are becoming available for COVID patients as the utilization rate in the city is now at 67% after being at 87% last week. Partial restrictions will remain for another month, at least, in and around the capital and in other badly affected areas.
There have been no confirmed cases in West Habog Habog where we work, a barangay in Iloilo city. Iloilo City have just moved into Modified General Community Quarantine. This is where movement goes back to normal but mask-wearing, physical distancing and other health protocols will be enforced.
Please do continue to pray for all the countries and communities we work in.