News of the outbreak of a new COVID-19 strain or variant as scientists prefer to call it, has reawakened the world to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet.
It is becoming clear that the new Omicron COVID strain has touched at least four continents; Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described it as a strain of concern because it has proved to be easily transmissible and is resistant to available vaccines.
These are worrying signs indeed for global health but also for personal health.
On an unfortunate note however, many Ugandans have dropped their guard in preventing the spread of the disease.
In taxis, markets and other public places, most people no longer wear masks or wash hands. And the crowding is back, especially in commercial areas in most parts of the country.
Although the government had indicated it plans to lift all movement restrictions by January, it is in everyone’s interest to remain safe but also protect the vulnerable members of our community – those who cannot get vaccinated, from contracting the disease.
And again, the only guarantee that movement restrictions will be lifted is if infections remain low. If infections rise and start to overwhelm the health system, you can be sure that lockdowns will return as they have in Europe.
Fortunately, vaccines are available to add a vital layer of protection against the disease. These vaccines made by reputable companies are free of charge.
Heeding this advice is even more important during the coming festive season when people move to villages to meet family and friends.
Let’s all get vaccinated, but also continue to observe SOPs as they have already proved to be effective in preventing the virus from wrecking havoc.