Many of us taking time to read this know someone with symptoms associated with Covid-19 or people who are sick.
Others have lost family, relatives and friends. May the souls of those who have passed on rest in peace.
We are also aware that there are many variants which have partly led to mutation of the signs and symptoms which we knew like the back of our hands at the start of 2020.
The Ministry of Health is also telling us that the second wave is going to be more challenging and brutal than the first one.
In the meantime, the loan spree has resumed as the government seeks funds to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and also shore up the health sector which is incapable of handling the rising number of cases.
Govt fails to account for Shs56 billion Covid-19 cash
Government has budgeted to spend more than Shs1.3 trillion in combating the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that hit the country last month.
Of the total budget, logistics, which involve procurement of items such as testing kits, personal protective gears, among others, will get the largest share, accounting for at least 61.2 per cent (more than Shs808.3b) of the total budget.
According to the budget breakdown, coordination will take over Shs12b, surveillance Shs59b, laboratory Shs84.9b, case management Shs93.8b, risk communication Shs68b, community engagement Shs6.5b, continuity of essential services Shs114.1b, strategic information research and innovation Shs70.3b, and vaccination Shs2.6b.
In addition, Uganda was granted a Shs3.5 trillion loan by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the tail end of last week to combat this virus.
Hopefully, the government has learnt from the mistakes of 2020 when a 2019/20 Auditor General’s report indicated that funds meant for the fight against Covid-19 were mismanaged.
According to the report, government interventions towards the management of Covid-19 pandemic was Shs4.36 trillion. The funds were raised from loans, donations and grants.
The summary of the report showed that Shs56 billion could not be properly accounted for. Street talk often hints on the growth of the real estate sector as the den for investing ill-gotten wealth.
You cannot claim that this is far off the mark. However, the fight that the government cannot afford to lose is the theft of public funds.
Every penny released must have a clear budget lest a consignment of supplies sent to support a health facility will not reach its intended target population in whole.This can only escalate the pandemic which we all want to end.