The Coronavirus Disease (COVID19) treatment centre in Masaka has not registered any case of the deadly respiratory disease over the last six days, the first time this is happening since the beginning of the year.
Dr Nathan Onyach, the Director of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, explains that unlike the past weeks and months when the COVID treatment facility was admitting patients almost on a daily basis, the have not received any cases for close to a week. He adds that with zero suspects and no confirmed cases, medics at the facility got a sigh of relief and are optimistic that this could be the beginning of a milestone.
Onyach says probably the biggest population got infected and became immune to COVID-19 since immunity to the virus can last at least eight months and longer.
He explains that the COVID-19 wave is like seasonal flu which disappears when the season is over.
He noted that in order to confirm that there is no COVID-19, they normally count two incubation periods, from case zero, and make recommendations after 28 days.
Onyach has appealed to the public to continue observing the Standard Operating Procedures which include wearing face masks, washing hands, and keeping social distance. He further urged people to be more careful even when they haven’t registered any cases in five days adding they do not know what is coming next.
However, the information about the reduced cases have left people in Mutukula, Kyotera, Rakai and Masaka city excited. These are areas where the majority have not been adhering to the SOPs even during the COVID lockdown.
Ivan Mwesigwa, a polythene paper distributer, at Mutukula border post, explains that the government may rely on such information to completely lift the lockdown. He says that he will be thrilled to see taxi drivers, clubs owners, churches, schools and other businesses at the border post resume normal operations after almost a year of inactivity.
Phiona Mutoni, who owns an internet café in Kyotera town, says the reduction in cases gives them hope because the enforcement of standard operating procedures was a tall order amongst her clients even before the cases reduced, despite their proximity to Tanzania where COVID-19 cases are reported to be on the rise.
Antonio Kalyango, the Lwankoni Sub-county Councilor Elect, says much as there is a decline in cases, people must stick to the guidelines until experts confirm that the country is free from COVID-19.
Maria Nalwanga, a student at Kalisizo Progressive SS is optimistic that with the reduction in cases, business activity is likely to boom, and schools could be fully reopened to resume operations.
However, Muhammad Nsubuga, the Regional Police spokesperson, says that much as there is some relief due to reduced cases, police will continue enforcing the SOPs until the government makes its official stand about the pandemic and lockdown.
He further explains that they are working together with the other security agencies to enforce the COVID operations and to bring the culprits to book.