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Museveni delegates Nabbanja as he takes ‘forced leave’ over Covid-19

Mr Museveni said he has been “very cautious with corona” but recently had to give up on facemasks because they were causing him allergic reactions in the eyes and the throat.

President Museveni addressing MPs during the State-of-the-Nation Address at Kololo ceremonial grounds on Wednesday June 7, 2023.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: President Yoweri Museveni has delegated his office to Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja for two days (June 8 and 9) and taken a force leave to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

“I have therefore, self-isolated at Nakasero and I have delegated my work for today and tomorrow (Heroes’ Day in Luwero) to Prime Minister, Robinah Nabanjja,” Mr Museveni said in a tweet on Thursday afternoon.

Vice President Jessica Alupo who could have assumed the role is currently in Lusaka Zambia for the 22nd COMESA Heads of State Summit and in her absentia, the Premier automatically becomes the next in command.

The president said that as much as he had been “very cautious with corona”, he recently had to give up on facemasks because they were causing him allergic reactions in the eyes and the throat, adding that he started experiencing mild flu-like symptoms on Tuesday but ignored the feeling and went on with his meetings in Entebbe as well as working on his voluminous State of the Nation Address.

“After the very useful interactive retreat in Kyenkwanzi, I was already immersed in the activities in Kampala. However, on Tuesday, I started experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. I ignored the feeling and had my meetings in Entebbe as well as working on my voluminous State of the Nation Address.

“Yesterday morning, however, I noticed some mild flu-like symptoms in one of the nostrils (the right one). That is when I called my doctors to take samples and rule out Corona. They took three samples- one rapid and two PCRs. The rapid one was negative and so was one of the PCRs. However, one of the PCRs was positive. Taking precautionary measures, I travelled to Kololo, with a separate car from Maama’s car as the samples were taken back for reconfirmation. When I came back from Kololo, it was confirmed that I had Corona,” he explained.

“I have, therefore, got the second forced leave in the last 53 years, ever since 1971, when we started fighting Idi Amin. One other time, was when I had a problem of sinuses and I had to lie low for some days at Mweya,” he added.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared Covid-19 over as a global health emergency.

The move came after the WHO’s independent emergency committee on the Covid crisis agreed it no longer merited the organisation’s highest alert level and “advised that it is time to transition to long-term management of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But the danger was not over, according to Tedros, who estimated Covid had killed “at least 20 million” people — about three times the nearly seven million deaths officially recorded.

“This virus is here to stay. It is still killing, and it’s still changing,” he said, adding; “The worst thing any country could do now is to use this news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that Covid-19 is nothing to worry about.”

The UN health agency first declared the so-called public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) over the crisis on January 30, 2020.

That was weeks after the mysterious new viral disease was first detected in China and when fewer than 100 cases and no deaths had been reported outside that country.

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