By Benjamin Mwibo & URN
As early as 6:00 am on Monday, the queues of people wanting to get vaccinated against Covid-19, had started forming at Kololo independence grounds where the Ministry of Health established a vaccination centre in response to the increasing numbers seeking to get the jab.
The Ministry had been running a vaccination centre at its headquarters along Yusuf Lule road which was moved to the more spacious Kololo independence grounds.
This was after nearly 3,000 people turned up every day at the ministry to take the jab, said Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze principal epidemiologist Uganda under the Ministry for Health.
“Because of the overwhelming numbers at the Ministry we had to shift to a bigger space acknowledging the fact that last week alone we vaccinated almost 3000 people per day since the majority of Ugandans have picked interest in the vaccines. We currently have 40 vaccination points and 40 nurses vaccinating each person at a minute and the lines are moving fast,” Kyabanyize said.
“Vaccination is open to all groups of people and anyone above 18 years of age, but we encourage especially the older people and those with various illnesses to come and receive the vaccines. The vaccines do not prevent one from getting infected but rather reduce the chances of getting a severe disease or even being admitted in the ICU,” he added.
Meanwhile, some schools have been forced to temporarily close after students and staff tested positive for Covid-19.
Green Hill Academy Secondary School (S1-S2) and Cavendish University Uganda are among the recent ones to suspend operations.
In a letter to parents and guardians, Wilberforce Kamengo, the headteacher of Green Hill Academy secondary school, notes that the school has registered a few confirmed cases thus sending all students of S1 and S2 back home. He however doesn’t tell how many cases have been registered at the school.
“…and as a result, we are sending students home for two weeks to curb the contagious nature of the variant and as well disinfect the school environment. Students will be released today (May 31),” Kamengo’s letter reads in part.
In the same development, Nsambya based Cavendish University has also closed after registering two COVID-19 cases. Professor John F. Mugisha, the University Vice-Chancellor, says following incidents of infection, and out of the abundance of caution for students’ and staff safety, they have decided to halt physical lectures with immediate effect.
“All continuing students will take the remaining two weeks of the semester studying online from their homes or hostels. No Continuing student will be allowed to access University premises from 31st May 2021. New students will be allowed to study on campus following disinfection of all university campus premises,” said Professor Mugisha.
This comes at a time when Kyambogo University, which had eight confirmed cases also decided to halt physical classes after registering cases from staff and student communities.
Last week the Ministry of Health reported that over 29 educational institutions from 17 districts registered a total of 803 cases sending scare into the communities.
Scientists have blamed the infections in schools for complacence in enforcing Standard Operating Procedures. Before reopening, schools were told to ensure that students keep their masks on all the time, regularly wash their hands, and keeping a two-metre distance at all times.
Ismail Mulindwa, the director of Basic Education who also doubles as the chairperson of the Education COVID-19 Response Committee, says the ministry is working closely with their health counterparts to find a way forward on the ever-increasing cases in schools.