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Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba

Uganda expects first batch of Covid vaccines mid-2021 – Minister Nabakooba

According to Nabakooba, the number of critically ill people that need oxygen on a 24-hour basis has exceeded the available capacity and the government spends about Shs22 million on every critically ill Covid patient that is admitted on oxygen.
posted onDecember 20, 2020
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The Minister of ICT and National Guidance cautioned Ugandans to continue observing SOPs set to protect them from the coronavirus as it might take about six months before the vaccine is shipped into the country.

Even when it's acquired, Minister Judith Nabakooba said, "priority will be given to frontline medical workers, the elderly and people with existing health conditions."

The first batch of the vaccine is expected to be obtained by May or June 2021, according to the minister, who called on Ugandans to "stay away from any form of festive temptations that could expose" them to catching Covid-19.

As part of preventing the spread of the virus, the government has so far distributed 29 million free face masks and the minister has said they are going to dole out another 6 million.

Uganda is currently in the "critical stage" in the fight against the respiratory illness and the health ministry believes there are more people dying from the diseases than being recorded.

"The ministry of health estimates that there are even more unknown Covid-19 deaths happening in the community before reaching the health centers," the minister said.

According to Nabakooba, the number of critically ill people that need oxygen on a 24-hour basis has exceeded the available capacity and the government spends about Shs22 million on every critically ill Covid patient that is admitted on oxygen.

In private hospitals, these types of patients are spending Shs5 million daily.

"Everyone must therefore understand the Covid-19 is not a cheap disease," the minister said, adding: "going by the costs, it is obvious that majority of Ugandans cannot afford this treatment."

She also revealed that once admitted to the High Dependency and Intensive Care Units, the chances of survival are less than 50%.

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