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Coronavirus: We must rally around our flag

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Added 1st April 2020 05:23 PM

In today’s world with problems that spill across borders at lightning speed, well executed government is what makes a country truly exceptional but not blaming leaders for issuing strict measures!

Coronavirus: We must rally around our flag

Ssemanda Allawi

In today’s world with problems that spill across borders at lightning speed, well executed government is what makes a country truly exceptional but not blaming leaders for issuing strict measures!

By Ssemanda Allawi
 
As the world faces the challenge of combating coronavirus, it is now very clear that when tackling a pandemic that knows no border, and where any locality with a weak response can exacerbate the situation and allow the infection to keep spreading elsewhere, we can combat such threat only through tough measures, however much they may be inconveniencing. 
 
In today's world with problems that spill across borders at lightning speed, a well executed government is what makes a country truly exceptional but not blaming leaders for issuing strict measures! 
 
Today, we have evidence that the spread of Coronavirus can be greatly slowed if governments act early and aggressively than following the demands of an animal called human rights as some may demand. This is because in times of combatting a virus that requires no permission to spread is as deadly as fighting a war with an invisible enemy. Any minute wasted may cause you to regret forever. Therefore, all measures announced however inconvenient they may be, provided they will combat the spread of this dangerous virus we should not question them. This is the time all of us to rally around our flag and support the government's announced measures!
 
Actually, before we critique or point loopholes in the measures announced by His Excellency President Museveni, as a country, let's ponder and think about these few questions! 
 
As Ugandans, if we all were lucky and have full knowledge that we know what Italians knew when Italy had only 44 cases of confirmed coronavirus as it is in Uganda now, what is that that we would do differently? When they had 44 confirmed cases, life did not change. People were partying and others were enjoying life with a big spoon! As of today, Italy has over 110,000 cases with several thousand fatalities and the situation not yet over.
 
For Spaniards, what did they know at a time when like Uganda Spain had 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus? What is that that they would do differently now? Is there anything they ignored and regret now? What is it that they did to become the world's second-largest causality of Covid19 just behind the U.S?
Like Ugandans, when Covid19 was confirmed in Spain, many did not listen to the government's advice. In name of democracy, many questioned why the government would ask them to stay at home, or not to walk at night. They continuously ignored the government's directives. Citing the animal called human rights, like us Spaniards reasoned they have freedom of movement and right to work. Sadly, today many are regretting.  
 
As a country, we have enough countries where we can draw examples from and ensure we don't regret tomorrow! 
We have lessons and experiences from countries like South Korea, China Singapore among others who have so far done well in containing the spreading of coronavirus. Today, we have evidence that the spread of Coronavirus can be greatly slowed if governments act early and aggressively as our government is doing.
 
A new study presently under peer review argues that without "nonpharmaceutical interventions" like the restriction of movement, "the number of cases of Covid19 in China would likely have shown a - 67 fold increase" and that if "nonpharmaceutical interventions" (restriction of movements) could have been conducted  one week earlier in China, there could have been 66% fewer cases."
 
With that background, despite challenges that may come with a curfew and other measures announced by president Museveni yesterday, dear Ugandans, we should follow them!  The measures seem tough but if we are to win this war, they are commendable! 
 
In countries where they have managed to contain the spread of the virus, authorities are communicating simple and consistent messages to the public on how to contain the spread of the virus. Those of us who follow the president and ministry of Health official's advice, we must have seen one major pattern - a clear and simple message of Social distancing, washing our hands with soap, don't touch your face and stay at home! This is the clear and consistent message that the country's leadership has been giving and if we listen, this message is the magic bullet! 
 
However, we all know that many of us have failed to listen to the call of social distancing and to follow other measures the government announced earlier. Therefore, the curfew the president announced was much necessary! It was visible as the president announced these measures that he knew they somehow would leave some of his people affected, but as a leader, this is what he had to do. His announced measures merit admiration because all of them were based on sound science! 
 
Lastly, however cliché it may sound, we are in times of war - the challenge is that our enemy is invisible and can spread faster and finish us all unless we act swiftly and aggressively. It is upon that background that as Ugandans, this is the time to show solidarity and support our government's efforts in this war for it is good for all of us. 
 
This is the moment where government action - a moment where anything that is humanly possible is done to ensure the majority of the population is saved. Because we know that coronavirus is not merciful, there is no need to show mercy when it comes to enforcing the measures meant to protect us. Those who default the measures should be dealt with decisively because any hesitation will mean we will all be affected. 
 
Since this is my opinion, it is fine dear reader you may challenge or critic me, but please, critic me as you observe the government's announced measures by staying home! 
 
@SsemandaAllawi
The writer is the author of  Global Government and Norm Contestation: How BRICS is Reshaping World Order. 

 

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