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COVID-19 misconception: Apac locals cut down pawpaw trees

The residents cut down the pawpaw for fear that they are carriers of coronavirus

The residents cut down the pawpaw for fear that they are carriers of coronavirus

Residents of Ongica and Atigolwok parishes, Apac district have cut down hundreds of pawpaw trees over misconceptions that they are carriers of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). 

The locals descended on the pawpaw trees and cut them down on the directives of their local leaders. The local leaders reportedly set a fine of Shs 50,000 for whoever fails to comply with the directive. Vicky Otim, the Aminkec village LC I chairperson, says that many households in her area have cut down the papaw trees after being misinformed by a radio presenter that they spread Covid-19. 

Francis Nixon Okol, a resident of Abwal A village in Ongica parish says that the move to cut down the papaws followed a disease outbreak that dries off the fruit.   

He says that the disease that is yet to be identified by agricultural experts was confused with former Tanzanian President John Pombe Magafuli’s statement on finding Covid-19 in pawpaw and goat meat samples after someone mentioned it on radio. Akol says in his area alone about 164 households had already cut down their papaw trees by Monday, which they have been depending on during food shortage.

Charles Dickens Okello, the Chegere sub-county LC III chairperson, says the cutting down of the pawpaw trees is an indication that many local people do not understand how Covid-19 spreads. He suspects the disease disturbing the papaws could be the Black rot Mycosphaerella caricae disease, adding that preparations are ongoing to take the pawpaw trees to the lab for testing.

Francis Leone Oceng, the Apac district health officer, an expert says that there is no scientific evidence that pawpaws are a reservoir of coronavirus. He urged the residents to always include papaws in their diet since it provides vitamins to boost their body immunity.

Covid-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads between people who are in close contact with each other typically within 1 meter (short-range).  

People may also become infected by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus when touching their eyes, nose or mouth without cleaning their hands, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Comments

+4 #1 rubangakene 2021-06-29 17:05
What on earth is going on in our beloved country? Why can't the government use nation-wide radio to educate the masses properly on this Covid disease?

We keep on getting half-baked pronouncements. Instead leaders tell us to pray to God, others tell police to beat us, now papaya fruits are the "culprits".

No wonder we are called a 'shit country'. Meanwhile we have gone back to the witch-craft days of isolating infected people in the bush. IGNORANCE is the biggest DISEASE!
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+3 #2 Akao 2021-06-29 20:25
Is this a joke! Seriously, why do Ugandans and Africans in general believe things without thinking ususally.

And people who are supposed to be teaching people about covid are busy asking people with guns to beat them insted.

This the problem with places run by military. No one has competency to solve problems that require thinking, most problems are solved by beating, killing and believing things without questioning
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+2 #3 Jonas 2021-06-30 09:52
Quoting Akao:
Is this a joke! Seriously, why do Ugandans and Africans in general believe things without thinking ususally.

And people who are supposed to be teaching people about covid are busy asking people with guns to beat them insted.


This the problem with places run by military. No one has competency to solve problems that require thinking, most problems are solved by beating, killing and believing things without questioning


I think we have all failed as a society including local leaders in the area.

It’s only in Africa where pastors sell ‘tickets to heaven’ to educated followers
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+1 #4 Jonas 2021-06-30 09:53
I think we have all failed as a society including local leaders in the area.

It’s only in Africa where pastors sell ‘tickets to heaven’ to educated followers
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