As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda wanes, scientists in the east African country on Tuesday warned of a third wave if there is no persistent behavioral change towards the spread factors.
The scientists told reporters here during a national update on the pandemic that already some African countries are facing the third wave because of lack of strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the prevention of coronavirus.
David Serwadda, an infectious disease epidemiologist and head of the Institute of Public Health at Makerere University said if the public continues to adhere to the prevention measures like avoiding mass gatherings, wearing face masks, hand sanitization among others, the virus can be suppressed to manageable levels.
“If we maintain strict SOPs, we can actually suppress it to such levels that community transmission is not high,” Serwadda said.
Jane Ruth Aceng, minister of health, said prevention of a third wave is dependent on every member of the community.
Aceng said while some community members are adhering to the prevention measures, others are not, which poses a risk of a third wave. She said the second wave has already been detrimental leading to massive infections and deaths.
In June, the country used to register 1,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases daily, according to ministry of health figures. The health care system was overwhelmed as hospitals were filled to capacity, forcing government to opt for home based care management.
Government also re-imposed a strict lockdown aimed at plugging the surging infection rates. Misaki Wayengera, chairperson of the ministerial scientific advisory committee, said while a considerably vaccinated population can be helpful in creating hard immunity, there is emerging evidence that even then, the virus can break through causing a surge in cases.
Ministry of health figures show that for the country to have suppressed the second wave, the infection rate has to be below 5 percent but it is currently at 6 percent.