Opposition figure Kizza Besigye has suggested deploying doctors (including UPDF) to areas where they are most needed especially those which have poor access to healthcare systems as a measure against coronavirus.
“The preparedness can be examined from what you do. The first and critical thing is to have effective coordination. An attack must be looked at two levels, the individual response and the community response,” he said Monday morning while appearing on NBS TV.
At the community level, there must be effective coordination, command and control, Besigye noted.
“You have strategic planning connected to the regional, district and health facilities. I have been checking on this over the last couple of days and the report is not encouraging.”
Besigye said he has not yet seen the involvement of the civil society and the public sector in this fight.
There is a problem of coordination, especially at the district level, he noted.
“We need clear protocols which are not yet there. This war will need to be fought on four fronts; Deal with the spread. The messages are being spread but there is no action.”
He added: “This particular government is reputed to provide soap during elections. This is the time for them to do so. We need to do more than just messaging. We need to make available what is communicated in the directives. Make essential commodities available.”
According to Besigye, the elites are the most useless people we have in Uganda. Hell should reserve the hottest part for elites.
“They have the duty to make choices and guide the population to the truth but they are the very people selling themselves like pancakes.”
He added: “Smokers and heavy drinkers should be helped to stop because these greatly affect immunity. One of the least things known to reduce immunity is sugar. Please reduce sugar intake.”
Here are my socio-economic proposals that we feel are critical for discussion and implementation during the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Deploy doctors (including UPDF) to areas where they are most needed especially those which have poor access to healthcare systems.
2. Declare centres in all the districts where people who need support can get it, and where support is sent to help the vulnerable to maintain their health to fight disease.
3. Set up special health centres where those who are suspected to be infected with the Coronavirus disease can access services.
4. Provide management procedures for crowded areas like markets. Open up temporary markets in less congested areas and facilitated with hygiene materials.
5. We must look at income which is going to collapse for many people. Many will lose income. Special measures should be made to safeguard people’s incomes and businesses.
6. Optimally use the country’s reserves to support citizens to get out of tough times.
7. All means of reducing interests on loans must be immediately considered. The Central Bank must take lead role in this including reducing its own lending rate.
8. Measures must be put in place to restructure existing loans and stop recalling loans during the period of the pandemic.
9. Central, popular and social call to landlords to restructure rent obligations on tenants and to avoid evicting tenants who are unable to meet their rent obligations during this period.
10. Tax waivers on businesses that are vulnerable because Coronavirus outbreak like Tourism industry and transport industry (as we move towards lockdown). Efforts must be put in place to cause tax relief and business support to help them survive the crisis.
11. Lastly, we need to support each other out of compassion. Let’s be there for each other, defend each other even where there will be less state intervention and let comradeship thrive for survival.