By Rhoda Nakawooza
As Uganda Christian University (UCU) continues to fight tirelessly to control the spread of Covid-19, students have abandoned key ways of stopping the spread of the virus.
To beat the virus, some guidelines were put up by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization [WHO]. The masses were encouraged to always wash/sanitize hands , wear a mask, social distance while in public and vaccination.
While the practice of Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) was feasible and adhered to during the first and second Covid-19 wave, it has dropped so fast.
Dr. Geoffrey Mulindwa the Director Medical Services at the UCU health center Allan Galpin, told The Standard that over 400 students and staff members, were vaccinated against Covid- 19 in January 2021.
He continued saying that currently the number at which the UCU community is vaccinating is reducing day by day. Most of the people took their first jab and they did not care to take their second and third jabs.
Dr. Mulindwa is surprised that most people have abandoned following COVID-19 SOPs yet before the previous waves people were compliant.
“I come to UCU for work every early morning and I have noticed that most of the students do not wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands on the various water tanks provided by the University which will continue to spread the virus,” Mulindwa said.
People were effectively following the SOPs during the first wave (Alpha) and second wave (Delta) but it is in the third wave (Omicron) that people have tended to relax not knowing that Omicron is still Covid-19. Omicron kills through colds and is highly transmitted.
Covid-19 transmits when people breathe contaminated droplets and small airborne particles. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors.
Mulindwa noted that the experts say that another wave may come and the reason as to why another wave may come is if people don’t vaccinate and follow different SOPs.
He urges the UCU community to take caution of their health and the neighbors’. “People who vaccinate and follow the SOPs have the biggest percentage of surviving. Let us remain vigilant, vaccinate and follow SOPs because you cannot tell of the next virus”.
Benson Nalutaaya the manager of Royal Hospitality Limited, the Catering firm at UCU says that health starts with you, everyone has to be conscious about the people they meet. People should know that Covid-19 is real and still a challenge.
Students come to the dining hall for reasons like discussing and personal reading without wearing masks but it is Nalutaya’s responsibility to make sure that they wear them or practice social distancing.
Nalutaya emphasized that social distancing is still a challenge during the lining up of students for food whereby they push closer to each other in order to run away from the direct sunshine heat.
“Some students come with complaints when coming for their meals that they suffocate when they wear the masks but we always tell them to bring the letters from the University clinic known as Allan Galpin for evidence,” he said.
Nalutaya urged students to always make it a priority to mind about themselves and other people’s health, he added that awareness must still go on.
Asking why many students have ignored following SOPs, John Baptist Ogala an Accounting and Finance student in UCU said that wearing a mask makes his breathing uncomfortable. He wears it around his neck and pulls it to his nose when he is in a congested environment and when talking to someone.
He added that wearing the mask full time is not important to one’s health, people should take caution mostly when they are not in congested places to remove the masks in order not to suffocate but can maintain when they are talking to someone.