You have no handkerchief; you cannot afford toilet paper or facial tissue and you are worried about the coronavirus, no problem.
Medics have advised that you can cough into your elbows and not get the virus. “A new recommendation for managing cough and sneezing in public places… The World Health Organisation has recommended sneezing into your elbow. At least all of us have elbows. This is a practice we would like people to adopt,” Dr Monica Musenero, the national advisor on coronavirus, who is also an experienced public health professional, said.
Musenero said handkerchiefs can be a haven for disease spread. She said men who wear long-sleeved shirts are at an advantage because the virus will not move from the shirt to the facial openings. Musenero advised Ugandans to ensure that they do not touch their faces with contaminated hands.
“Wash your hands. Even if you do not have a disinfectant, soap and water is enough. Soap can kill most viruses,” she explained.
Musenero dismissed the myth that drinking alcohol can help one guard against the virus, saying alcohol that is used for sanitation is used externally. She warned that those who drink alcohol are at risk of dying due to overdose.
President Yoweri Museveni, in his address to the nation yesterday, advised those with cough or a cold to self-isolate and in case they fail, they will be isolated by force.
For public places such as markets and workplaces, Museveni advised that the leaders ensure compulsory handwashing by whoever enters or exits the premises and whoever has symptoms of sickness should be denied access.
The President advised against unnecessary movements using public means. Nutrition Museveni said there is a need to take in good quantities of Vitamin C, by eating oranges and lemons and also eating ripe bananas to get folic acid and Vitamin B6.
The health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, recommended drinking adequate fluids (at least three litres of water a day), especially water to keep the body rehydrated.
This is because the virus dehydrates the body. She also recommended eating a lot of vegetables because they have antioxidants that help to fight diseases. Aceng also recommended proper hygiene for fruits and vegetables.
Dr Diana Atwine, the health ministry permanent secretary, advised hotel owners to ensure that whoever enters their premises washes their hands and their temperatures are measured before they gain access. Preparedness Museveni said Uganda is prepared to handle any outbreak.
“We have isolation centres. We have long had the testing capacity within the country ever since the first Ebola days. We have some factories providing hand sanitizer and face masks. There is even some talk of treatment using the old chloroquine,” he said.
To protect families, self- isolation has been cancelled and everybody travelling from abroad- will be put under mandatory quarantine in places selected by the Government.