Should people die of Covid-19 or Hunger while locked up in their houses? This is the question asked by a number of people, as most African governments opted for total lock down as a way to curb the Deadly Corona Virus.
As most western countries start getting back to normal with the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the whole world for over one and half year, the all calamity is unfortunately shifting to the African continent. Countries like the USA, Uk, Germany among others have been able to vaccinate a biggest percentage of their citizens and thus a lot is starting to change. In cities like New York in the USA people there started enjoying their freedoms away from the pandemic restrictions months back, however not forgetting that its one of the Cities that were badly hit during the first waves of Covid-19. Uk amidst the prolonged lockdown, the government has managed to vaccinate the biggest percentage of Britons, and just a few days back, the prime minister Boris Johnson promised to lift all Covid-19 restriction come at least 19th of July with very big hopes of not ever going back into the restrictions.
The Germany government has also been so prudent with the all pandemic. Currently, a reasonable number of people in Germany have been vaccinated and vaccination is open to anyone any time. Numbers of infections reduced gradually in most cities and all country at large. Lesser deaths are now recorded than before and life is definitely going back to normal with some restrictions lifted, well as Prudent as they could be, the Germany Heath minister wish to pill some stocks of vaccines for the next years, well some African countries have not even got a quarter the dose for their population!
With that brief overview of the western countries, let’s look at the African content. Here it’s like its just the beginning. Around the beginning of May 2021, news hit the waves of a never expected increasing number of infections in Seychelles. Seychelles is a small country Island found on Indian Ocean in East Africa. By May, Seychelles was number one with the highest percentage of vaccinated citizens in the whole world. It however came to a shock when this country had to run back to lock down even after the record number of vaccinations. This definitely left so many questions and of course some answers which were not satisfactory to some people.
The country mostly administered the China-made Sinopharm vaccine, however the authorities never commented on its impact. Schools were forced into lock down and 11 pm curfew was imposed. Being a tourist destination the country kept allowing in tourists who had a negative PCR covid-19 test and were to only stay in reorganised and designated tourist accommodations. These restrictions still stand to date.
Countries like south Africa have also been hit badly with a number of waves of the pandemic and worse a south African variant. Here schools were closed curfews were placed and even a burn on alcohol consumption was made. The government here Is trying its best to control the pandemic which definitely hit the country so hard. by now, at least 3459660 vaccinations have been administered In south Africa. However the Covid-19 Pandemic has left southAfrica in unspeakable mess, after riots broke up in several parts of South Africa with massive rooting. Much as narrative run that people went on the streets to protest the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma, it’s also clear that people were frustrated by the strict lock down policy in South Africa.
In Uganda, Covid-19 was first politicised. Uganda first enjoyed the loop of safety in the first wave of the pandemic not until things went out of hand. The country going into general elections, the government used the Covid-19 advantage to throw restrictions to other political opponents Including burn on Political campaigns among other restrictions. Much as the government was advised to push the elections a bit further until the situation had come little more better, the government never listened. During the first wave of covid-19 in 2020, the government pushed peoples in a total Lock down.Ugandan Complied and went into lock down. The government borrowed lots of money in the first wave and lock down, some of which was to buy food and masks for the people. Individual business men and organisations donated food and money to the government to feed the poor locked in their houses this benefited just a few and many never saw any support from the government. Elections ran, the Incumbent president won and he was sworn in. Another covid wave hit the country so badly around the start of June. The government panicked and had to enforce another total lock down. People are not allowed to even cross to the city to work, the all city area of Kampala is cordoned off with the police beating up people who dare try to access the city. The Ugandan government has went further to impose a 2 months prison sentence if found in contempt of the Covid-19 regulation. Let’s not forget that Ugandan prisons were reported full to capacity. The poor are reportedly dying in their homes due to hunger. People are captured between Rocks of either dying of Covid-19 or hunger. Nothing to eat, parents are stranded with children at home. The education future of the children of Uganda is now in total question after siting home for year and half , some children have decided to drop out of school, young girls have become mothers. Even after the International Monetary Fund IMF borrowing Uganda billions of Dollars, the government till now has not put up strategies to support the poor families locked down in their houses.
What differ from these African countries like Uganda from countries like Germany? During the pandemic, Germany citizens were cared for, people never lacked food or basic services, children continued school online, people like me getting support from Job centre an agencies responsible for the unemployed citizens and residents of Germany, our money at some point was even increased to help us cope up with the situation. But well all this sounds like fairy tale to African leaders, who never see themselves working for the benefit of their Citizens.
Any how this is a call to the western countries, let’s mind about Africa too. I agree that some countries like France have donated vaccines to Uganda and some African countries but it’s not enough. I am just afraid that the corona virus will soon become an African pandemic.
By: Edward Mutebi