• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Omicron Casts Uncertainty Over Uganda’s Economic Outlook, Says Central Bank

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Uganda’s Central Bank says the COVID-19 Omicron variant is casting uncertainty over the country’s economic outlook.

Bank of Uganda, in its monthly monetary policy statement issued Monday 20th December, predicted that the Omicron variant could further disrupt the global supply chain, which may have negative spillover effects on Uganda’s domestic economic performance.

Further, the Bank warned that should a third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country trigger a return to more stringent and protracted measures, projected growth could be hampered, with contact-intensive sectors like education and hospitality facing the brunt of the impact.

However, Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng, says government will not rescind the decision to fully reopen the economy in January, even with a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant.

This is as the Health Ministry on December 24th confirmed 1,116 new coronavirus cases in Uganda, bringing the cumulative total to 134,348.

The Ministry also reported one more COVID-19 death, bringing the cumulative death toll to 3,275. Whereas 98,207 people have recovered from COVID-19.

A total of 10,121,220 vaccine doses have been administered in Uganda.

On December 17th, Uganda announced mandatory Covid testing for all people arriving in the country via land border points in response to Omicron.

Internally, Fort Portal City has adopted a vaccine mandate for travelers to the countryside. Occupants of Public Service Vehicles are required to show proof of vaccination or take the jab at designated vaccination points.

Some government ministries have also started denying access to their premises to the unvaccinated in a bid to ramp up the rate of inoculation. On October 21st, Uganda’s Health Ministry of Health announced staff and visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with proof of vaccination needed to access the Ministry premises. Ministry of Finance followed suit on December 14th.

Dr Aceng urges Ugandans to embrace the ongoing mass vaccination exercise, observe the standard operating procedures, and exercise vigilance.

Bank of Uganda says if the government does fully reopen the economy next month as promised, some of the pent-up domestic demand from the past two years would be released to stimulate economic growth.

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