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COVID-19 and Human Rights: What to look out for

Dr. Donald Rukare, a human rights expert and Chief of Party at Freedom House Uganda Dr. Donald Rukare, a human rights expert and Chief of Party at Freedom House Uganda

 

By Dr Donald Rukare

 

The world is currently gripped in the throes of the gruesome coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Globally, as of April 6, 2020, John Hopkins University reported that we had a total of 1,292,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 70,798 deaths and quickly climbing.

 

The COVID-19 said to have emanated from Wuhan in China and is rapidly traversing the world with thousands of cases and deaths seen in Italy, Spain, and the United States. It is believed a surge of cases will be experienced in Africa as well. Uganda according to the Ministry of Health, had confirmed 52 cases without any fatalities as of April 6, 2020. The government has announced and put in several mitigation measures to stop the spread of the invisible deadly enemy COVID-19. These include inter alia stay at home orders, avoidance of large gathering, social distancing, regular washing of hands and a 7 pm to 6 am curfew.

 

The swift actions taken by President Museveni and the Ministry of Health are commendable. However, there are critical human rights issues that should be borne in mind during this emergency period.

 

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Published: April 9, 2020