UGANDANS: Let’s be our brother/sister’s keeper!

According to the Ministry of Health, today, Saturday, April 11, 2020, three people who have been completely healed of the Covid-19 disease in Uganda and will be discharged to return home. Another fifteen will be released either on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday, bringing to eighteen, the number of fully recovered Covid-19 cases!

We thank God for this first victory in the national response against the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s indeed a great milestone and a welcome Easter present for all Ugandans who have braved the inconveniences that come with fighting this enemy and stayed home in the past two weeks as the country observes guidelines enumerated by President Yoweri Museveni and the Ministry of Health which are highly important and necessary to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

We also congratulate the country for temporarily flattening the infections curve as all 439 samples tested on Good Friday returned negative — for the second day running! Our cases remain at 53 for Easter, and with the continued discipline required of everybody, we should hope for the best.

Although we are yet to hit the epidemiological flat curve, this milestone in Uganda happening at a time when the global case and death rates are still growing on average by 2.68% and 6%-10% respectively, is surely a success worth celebrating!

We, the Online Media Publishers Association of Uganda (OMPA) exceedingly commend all our healthcare workers, the leadership of our Ministry of Health under Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and colleagues and the technical wing under Dr Diana Atwiine and colleagues.

Special mention also goes to the staff of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) who have done a commendable job in testing.

We also highly commend the political leadership of the country under President Yoweri Museveni and the national task force headed by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda for being focused on the fight against the pandemic.

This concerted and commendable leadership and effort have given the country ability to identify, isolate and test suspected cases on an average of 11% daily. To date, 4,301 cases have been tested.

We also commend the leadership of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance under Hon. Judith Nabakooba and colleagues and the technical wing headed by Hon. Vincent Waiswa Bagiire for harnessing the media effort towards the national educative responses to the pandemic, which efforts have been key in ensuring that the public gets to grip with the threat that the spread of Coronavirus poses.

We, therefore, would also like to thank all our media colleagues who, daily dedicate time, resources and valuable media space to keep the masses educated. And, to all the individuals and organisations that have contributed materially and financially to both controlling the disease and easing the pain of the knock-on effects of the disease, Uganda is eternally grateful! We salute all the people of Uganda- for heeding to the government’s advice to #StayHome and #StaySafe.

We ask you to continue heeding the guidelines of government as informed by the Ministry of Health until the country overpowers the threat caused by the Coronavirus.

We at OMPA, pledge to continue dedicating time and resources to educate the Ugandan masses — over 50% of whom rely on the internet for timely and updated news, by creating timely, accurate and truthful news and functional information.

Happy Easter to you all!

The Online Media Publishers Association- Uganda (OMPA-U) brings together owners and journalists working in Uganda for 24 of Uganda’s leading online media houses

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