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Uganda - Rapid Briefing Note: Impact of the COVID-19 resurgence on the Karamoja region, July 2021

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Since May 2021, Uganda has been affected by a resurgence of COVID-19. The Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) reported 89,080 confirmed cases on 13 July 2021, compared with 54,669 cases on 06 June – an increase of 63%. Active cases on admission at the health facilities increased by 13% from 754 to 853; in addition, there was a fourfold increase in COVID-19 deaths within the same period.

On 7th June 2021, the government re-imposed a 42-day nation-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. The lockdown has seen the closure of public and private transportation and restrictions of movement and business operations. This has negatively impacted the population’s livelihoods in all parts of the country, including the Karamoja region which relies heavily on livestock markets. The impact of the virus, as well as related preventative measures such as movement restrictions, led to two, concurrent, country-wide crises: a health crisis and an economic crisis.

This rapid briefing note provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable populations in the Karamoja region and evaluates the implementation, and constraints, of the emergency response. It is based on a rapid assessment, which included a review of relevant secondary data and 13 interviews with key informants (KIs), including members of COVID-19 district-level task forces and representatives of the civil society, conducted between 30th June and 11th July. Given that this briefing note is based on secondary data and KI interviews, and does not include direct interviews with affected populations, the results provide an indication of the situation, but cannot be considered as representative.