The incident happened on Wednesday, March 11. Ten days later, signs of the virus started to show, from a record high temperature of over 390 to a mild fever. –

Ethan Arinda, a Senior Four student of St. Mary’s College Kisubi, attending online classes with his teachers and classmates. (File photo: New vision)

HEALTH  VIRUS

It was panic and anxiety among my family and friends when I broke the news of my possible exposure to the novel coronavirus that could have taken place at a restaurant in Kampala.

The incident happened on Wednesday, March 11. Ten days later, signs of the virus started to show, from a record high temperature of over 390 to a mild fever, soar throat and flu. It was panic on my side as well.

It was then that I reached out to the health ministry on their helpline. Later, a team was dispatched to my residence in Namugongo, where they collected a sample. I received my results 48 hours later. More panic ensued when my ordeal was published in the New Vision on Tuesday, March 17.

My phone was probably busier than ever before, with calls from friends and family who had got wind of the news. All this while, I was in self-isolation at home. I did so to be a responsible person to heed to the health ministry guidelines and also to avoid exposing other people to the sickness.

Quarantine was a tricky moment for me. I wish to share with you some of the key issues that you need to look out for during the lockdown period. If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, call your doctor immediately.

If you have been overseas and are feeling well, you need to self-quarantine for at least 14 days from the date you arrived in Uganda. You must also self-quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone who is suspected to have or already has the coronavirus, which was my exact story. While you are in self-quarantine, if you start to feel unwell and develop any symptoms at all, but especially a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness, you should seek immediate medical attention.

The health ministry has toll free numbers that can be of great help. 0800 100 066 and 0800 203 033.

What does it mean?

It means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation, and not leaving for the period you are required to quarantine. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.

Does my family need to self-quarantine?

The rest of your household does not need to self-quarantine if you stay away from others in your home. They are only required to self-quarantine if they meet one of the criteria for self-quarantine outlined above. As much as possible, you should:

• Stay in a room away from others

• Sleep in a separate bedroom If possible, use a separate bathroom.

• Do not allow visitors at home during this period

• Practice good hygiene and maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres distance.

• Vulnerable people, like those over the age of 60 with chronic disease, should stay somewhere else.

How do I get things I need in isolation?

It can really be tough and tricky to get supplies, such as food during this time. Quick advice can be embracing online delivery applications for smartphones.

Now is the right time to make use of the smartphone. If you are lucky to access a grocery store, please stock basic necessities in bulk that can take you for at least three weeks.

Stock dry food that does not easily get spoilt. This includes rice, posho, and spaghetti, among many others.

Peter Atenyi the writer is a public relations practitioner who is also under self-quarantine

Story Credit: The New Vision