After the Prime Minister , Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda , went into a 14 day self isolation -following the positive testing of one of his close contacts ,the Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance (NG) Ms.Judith Nabakooba has come out to inform the nation that government has decided to test all cabinet ministers for the coronavirus.
Addressing the media at the Ministry head office in Kampala , Nabakooba said that it was imperative for all ministers to undertake the routine Covid -19 tests because they are at the frontline of government’s concerted effort to stop the spread of the pandemic that has caused the death of over a million people across the globe .
Today, the Ministry of Health reported an additional 36 new COVID-19 cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Uganda to 593. All the new confirmed cases are Ugandans and among alerts and contacts. Out of the new reported cases , 9 are frontline health workers from Kampala, 1 contact from Buvumaa and 15 contacts from Kyotera .
Ms. Nabakooba said that ministers have been called upon to take the Covid-19 tests because they have been at the frontline of government ‘s COVID-19 response across the country . “ Ministers interact with a lot of people on a daily basis and are part of the national COVID-19 Task Force. This puts us among the most at-risk groups when it comes to the national effort. It is against that background that we decided to undertake the tests,” the minster explained .
She said that ministers are at liberty to share their results with the public to create more confidence in the on going government public outreach to fight the spread and stigma surrounding the COVID -19 pandemic.
“In an effort to encourage public compliance and safety for all persons, all government ministers agreed to take personal COVID-19 tests. The exercise is still ongoing and every minister is free to share their results with the public as part of government’s efforts to educate the public and fight stigma surrounding the pandemic,” she said.
Nabakooba added, “Yesterday, the Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Ruhakana Rugunda informed the public that he gone into self isolation after one of his staff tested positive for COVID-19. The Prime Minister took the COVID-19 test and it turned out negative. He however went ahead to start on self isolation for a period of 14 days because it is the right thing to do.
We encourage all members of the public who suspect to have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 to always go for a test and proceed to self isolate even if the test is negative,” she added.
As the country continues to battle the virus , Ugandan researchers and Engineers have produced a functional low cost medial ventilator called Bulamu to support the management of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome caused by the coronavirus among other medical complications.
Mr. Freddie Emmanuel Mugunga , the Under Secretary and Spokesman of the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MoSTI), said that the ministry through Kiira Motors in collaboration with Makerere University have successful produced a low cost medical ventilator that can be deployed for use in government hospitals and health centers .
The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated the Kiira Motors engineers and the University researchers upon the successful completion of “this crucial stage of the low cost medical ventilator.”
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