Eighth Address on Covid-19 22-Jun-2020

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Countrymen and countrywomen.

Greetings from the Government and the political leadership of the country.  Congratulations on our battle against the corona-virus, against the floods, against the rising waters of the Lakes and the Rivers, against the land-slides, against the floating islands and against the locusts.  The locusts have been defeated by the UPDF and the floating islands were cleared by the Ministry of Works and Transport.  The floods, unfortunately, caused the deaths of 16 people in the areas of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Isingiro and Kween; but the Government was able to provide relief to the displaced people. 

The rising waters of Lake Victoria could not damage our Electricity Power Dams because, unlike in 1964, the Government had built the new canal that takes water to the electricity station on the Jinja side, the Kiira Power station, which canal added itself to the western canal, on the Njeru side, that takes water to the old power station of Nalubaale.  This enables us to, if necessary, open for 3000 cubic metres of water per second to flow out, unlike in 1964 when they could only open for a maximum of 1300 cubic metres of water per second.

This enabled us to go from releasing the 600 cubic metres per second to 2400 cubic metres per second, thereby saving the dams of electricity and also preventing flooding around the whole of the Lake Victoria basin. The Ugandans that had encroached on the beaches, should peacefully vacate so that they do not suffer losses in future and do not damage the environment as they have been doing by causing the Lake to silt, etc. The floating islands were quickly removed by a combined engineering Task Force, led by the Ministry of Works, using the magnificent Earth Moving Equipment we bought from Japan. On all this capacity for resilience, I congratulate the Government and the Ugandan people for coping effectively with these challenges.

However, for today, the main attention is on the corona virus. When this global catastrophe descended from China, through Europe and the Gulf countries, to East Africa, after quickly conferring in depth with our scientists, we promptly realized that, for now, this enemy could only be handled in two ways, as I have told you before.  The two ways are: avoiding the virus by tonsemberera, otampika, Luo-bed-mabor-ki-lawoti, Ateso-mum-ibuni-eiduny-kede-eong, Lugbara-miesimimavuko, that the poor English language can only describe as social-distancing; using masks so that your rwoya (what the poor English calls droplets), referring to the vaporous breathe that comes out of us that you can see as mist if you blow your breathe against the mirror or even glass spectacles, does not carry the virus from you to another person; sanitize surfaces where the virus can survive for up to 4 days on surface of, for instance,  table-tops, door  handles, chairs, arm-rests, micro-phones, etc.; regularly washing your hands with water and soap or use sanitizers; and never touching yourself in the soft parts of your body such as the eyes, the nose and the mouth with unwashed hands.  All this is method one that we could see was available immediately.

The second method, was to enable the body to fight the virus by treating the treatable diseases the victim may have, known as co-morbidities, such as diabetes, blood pressure, the cancers, HIV, etc. and boosting the defenses of the body by giving the victims the necessary vitamins, the other drugs that help the efficiency of the body such as hydroxy-choloroquine and the drugs that control the over-reaction of the body to the invasion by the virus. 

Some diseases kill by provoking the body to over-react by panicking and producing too many body soldiers, in a non-coordinated way, ending up chocking up (kuniga) or blocking (kwigaza) the transport routes of the body (the blood vessels ─ emitsi) and inflaming the surrounding areas (the tissues).  These were the two available ways: avoid the virus and assist the body to fight the virus if, for some reason, the avoiding has not worked.

The other two ways of defeating the virus are still being worked on, both here and abroad. These are the way of a vaccine (kugema, kutsirika) and the way of getting drugs that attack the virus directly and disable it or kill it, rather than just helping the body to fight it. We are hoping for success on the two fronts also. 

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