According to the latest figures, the deadly virus has killed over 491 people with 24,363 others confirmed as having contracted the virus.
Speaking at the State House Entebbe where he received a brief about the outbreak from Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang, Museveni said that the government of China has already put in place mechanisms to contain and prevent the transmission of the disease, hence Ugandans are safer there.
Museveni made the same directive on Monday after a meeting with Ugandan officials led by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda about Uganda’s preparedness to tackle the virus. The president said there should be an aggressive campaign to educate people about the dangers of the virus and what should be done to prevent it.
Countries like the US, Canada, United Kingdom among others have been evacuating their citizens from China in order to get proper management at home. China has also placed a total lockdown on Wuhan city preventing anyone from leaving or entering in order to control the spread of the virus.
Ambassador Zheng told Museveni that his government is doing everything possible to contain the virus. He said they are also planning to build a record 1,000-bed Huoshenshan medical facility in the city of Wuhan to secure the safety of the people.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the strong measures taken by China at the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak have prevented the significant spread abroad and called for greater solidarity of the world.
According to reports, 99 per cent of the cases are in China, and 97 per cent of the deaths are in Hubei Province where it started.
Uganda has not yet recorded a case of coronavirus, although a number of people who have travelled to China, including some four Chinese nationals have been isolated. But the government says steps need to be taken to keep the virus at bay.
Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said that although the ministry of Finance had indicated to parliament on Tuesday that this money wasn’t available, it was finally approved during a meeting held today afternoon.
During a press conference held this evening, the minister said that part of the money goes into stocking the isolation centres at Naguru and Entebbe referral hospitals while other funds will go into screening activities at the border points, Entebbe airport and strengthening surveillance.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) country representative to Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam they recommend isolation and close monitoring for everyone who has recently travelled to China.
In Uganda, the ministry is encouraging self-quarantine where people who have travelled are supposed to isolate themselves within their homes for a period of 14 days. During the period of isolation, health officials will be making spot checks on them until they are declared okay.
The minister said that scientists are yet to establish how long the virus lasts outside the body before spreading to another person and that this is the reason as to why they are discouraging handshakes and encouraging use of masks in public places since even without symptoms, a person could likely be infectious.
The World Health Organization notes that their scientists are still studying the samples provided by the government of China to understand the virus better and establish all the information about it since it was just discovered last year in humans.
They say once there is enough information, ways to limit its transmission will be developed and popularized. While the current understanding of the disease remains limited, most cases reported to date have been milder according to experts, with around 20 per cent of those infected experiencing severe illness.
A person with coronavirus, experts say present with flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, and shortness in breath and in severe cases the sufferer develops pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure.