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    Minister Aceng Rules Out Lockdown due to Omicron

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    HEALTH MINISTER RULES OUT AN POSSIBLE LOCKDOWN
    The Omicron Covid-19 variant is unlikely to stop plans of Uganda fully opening her economy in January, the Health minister has revealed.
    Dr Jane Aceng ruled out any localised lockdown after Uganda confirmed seven cases of the variant following the genomic sequencing of samples taken at Entebbe International Airport.
    “We don’t want any more lockdowns. Lockdowns have caused a lot of suffering to our people. Omicron or no Omicron, we shall open up in January. Even the seven cases of Omicron reported are asymptomatic,” Dr Aceng said while commissioning a Shs33.2 billion building project at Lira Regional Referral Hospital on Tuesday.
    President Museveni said in September that the Ugandan economy will be fully reopened when a 4.8 million strong group of people—including teachers, security personnel, elderly, and those below 50 years but with comorbidities—is fully inoculated. He estimated that this exercise could be complete by the backend of December.
    Certain sectors, including the night economy, remain under lockdown since Uganda brought in restrictive measures in March of 2020.
    Speaking on Tuesday, Dr Aceng applauded health workers for leading the way in combatting vaccine scepticism. The Health minister revealed that with “95 percent of health workers…already vaccinated…doubting Thomases [have been encouraged] to follow suit.”
    She also added: “Even teachers are not doing badly, they are at 70 percent and we also expect them to be at 100 percent when schools reopen in January.”
    Dr Aceng appealed to Ugandans to warm up to Covid-19 jabs, revealing that while the Lango Sub-region has embraced mass vaccination “Alebtong and Amolatar…have performed very poorly.”
    She further revealed that while Uganda is well-stocked with different vaccines, Johnson & Johnson will only be accessed by people who live in hard-to-reach areas.
    She commended the Japanese government for its financial aid to Uganda for the improvement of regional referral hospitals.
    The Shs33.2b commissioned project involved the construction of an out-patient department (OPD) and delivery unit, comprising six suites. The OPD comprises an ultra-modern building with ultramodern equipment.
    The facility consists specialised rooms for mothers and children; special clinics; ultramodern casualty unit where patients can be received, resuscitated and then transferred accordingly.

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