Uganda is enhancing the fight against Covid-19 within its territory with serious measures and steps in place by way of a new law to deter citizens from breaking regulations guiding the control of the virus, including the possibility of a jail term.

The state minister for Health, Anifa Kawooya, disclosed that due to certain observations these measures were necessary to protect the health of everyone in the country.

“These penalties are not punishments, rather it is to instil attitude change. That the moment that you know that if I don’t observe these standard operating procedures (SOPs) this will happen” she said.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health is working closely with the government to see the acquisition of more vaccines which will help reduce the number of persons severely affected by the virus and in need of critical care in hospitals. 861,645 people have been inoculated so far with their first dose of AstraZeneca and 129,257 have had their second dose, as Uganda expects to receive 974,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax facility and another 300,000 Sinovac doses from China between July and August.

The country is currently undertaking a study to monitor vaccine efficacy by counting COVID infections that may occur in vaccinated people to encourage Ugandans to get vaccinated. Further efforts have also been taken to acquire more vaccines with an application for 2 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine through the African Export-Import Bank and the African Union (AU) and another 9 million doses through the Covax cost-sharing facility.