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Ugandans in China praise restrictive measures

By Mubarak Mugabo

Added 30th March 2020 06:19 PM

Joshua Kusingura, a master’s student at the South East University in Nanjing province of China has been in the lockdown for months.

Ugandans in China praise restrictive measures

Joshua Kusingura, a master’s student at the South East University in Nanjing province of China has been in the lockdown for months.


KAMPALA - When Coronavirus hit China, many Ugandans doing business and those attending school were caught up in the lockdown declared by the authorities as part of the move to control the epidemic.

Over 20,000 people died and over 450,000 cases are still being reported across the world. 

However, recently, China started opening up places and companies after the reduction in new infections. And Ugandans there believe that it is the restrictive measures, including a total shutdown, that helped to defeat coronavirus. 

Uganda has also resorted to restrictive measures leading to a partial shutdown caused by the ban on public transport, government offices and markets, for 14 days. 

Joshua Kusingura, a master's student at the South East University in Nanjing province of China has been in the lockdown for months.

 "I have stayed indoors for the better part of two months, just like everyone around me here in Nanjing and I can say it has been worth it. About two weeks ago, there was no new infection in Nanjing and life is slowly returning to normal," Kusingura said. 

Sharon Kakayi, from Wuhan University, where the virus epicentre was recently, gives an account of what they used to stay safer.

"We were advised to take little warm water, especially during the morning, to clear our throats and always wear masks while going out," Kakayi said. 

According to her, their adherence to the measures set by the Chinese government made it possible for all of them to survive within the epicentre. 

Alfred Komakech, a master's student in China University of Geosciences, also says the best way forward is to follow government guidelines. 

"We were asking government to evacuate us away from Wuhan, yet the best way was to just follow all guidelines given by government. But also, saving can help in a lockdown. That is where Chinese won the war because all Chinese have culture of saving," Komakech said. 

"Because of any movement and interaction with anyone will keep the virus in circulation, they should be strong in these trying times," Esther Katwere, a Ugandan student in Huazhong University of science and technology in China, said. 

Wilson Tibamuzingu Abaho, the legal advisor of Ugandan Students in China (USAC), said staying home seems to be one of the most effective measures in dealing with the virus. 

"Today, Wuhan has reported zero cases of new infections for the 11th day, this has been possible because the public stayed home, washed hands, drank water and reported any suspicious cases to health authorities," Tibamuzigu said.

 "For the safety of the over 40 million people back home, I believed and still believe that evacuation was not a prudent option," Tibamuzigu added. 

The Government, in a special way, extended $61,800 (about sh220m) assistance to the stranded students in Wuhan to further deal with the escalating cost of household items, leaving the rest out of Wuhan city dealing with it using the available means at their disposal. 

Business community 

Whereas the Uganda-China business community has been most affected during the lockdown and the closure of the airports in China and Uganda, there is still a message of hope from them to Ugandans on how to better deal with the situation. 

Joseph Kalema, a kindergarten teacher and trader in Beijing, said the virus is manageable if the masses listen to the experts. 

"We have fought the virus simply because we have been following what the Chinese Government is telling us. We are now seeing business resuming after a two-month lockdown," Kalema said.

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