BY OUR REPORTERS
Government has hinted at a second national lock-down to contain the spread and increase in registered cases of the global -novel -Covid 19 pandemic ahead of Presdient Yoweri Museveni’s address to the nation next week . This follows another 318 new record of Covid -19 cases registered in a single day- on Saturday.
In her weekly -Sunday- government briefing , Minister of ICT and NG, Ms. Judith Nabakooba noted with concern- that for the past week , Uganda’s every new day total of Covid-19 cases has been breaking the previous day’s record.
Out of the 318 new registered cases, Nabakooba said the biggest number came from prisons in Amuru district with a total of 154 new infections. Among these was a prison officer. The record new cases were found in at least 23 different districts.
“ This indicates that the infections are spreading everywhere and soon the entire country will be under attack. As government it is not in our interest to announce another lockdown because people’s livelihoods are adversely affected. However, under the current circumstances, it is obvious that people will only comply after another lockdown has been put in place,” Nabakooba said, pointing to the fact that government is likely to declare a second lockdown in the hotspots -to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Media not spared either
Journalists , whom the Information Minister said were “ critical frontline workers” in government’s response against the pandemic have not been spared either . So far cases of media employees testing positive for covid-19 have been recorded at Radio Pacis in Arua, New Vision, NTV and NBS.
The Minister reminded all media houses to ensure that they follow the guidelines that were issued by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) at the start of the pandemic. Nabakooba regretted to note that the public generally and some reckless politicians are to blame for the current situation.
“We have failed to take seriously the guidance from our health experts. I want to call upon all leaders regardless of their political or religious inclination to own up and speak the same language when it comes to preventing COVID-19.
“ It is unfortunate that some leaders are continuing to use their spaces to confuse the public with statements that question the existence of COVID-19. It is such reckless comments and behavior that have gotten us to where we are today. Every life lost to COVID-19 is very unfortunate because all the guidance on how to stay safe is with us,” she said.
Kampala a new Covid -19 hotspot
Nabakooba said that Kampala city is now the biggest source of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Uganda . As of yesterday, Kampala had registered 65 new cases. “The public must understand that almost 90% of all these new infections in Kampala are from people using taxis and buses.
“This should not come as a surprise because all public transporters in the taxi parks and bus terminals failed to administer the guidelines that were given when the lock-down was lifted. The situation with Arcades and Markets also continues to be bad. The list of arcades and markets failing to observe the guidelines is growing everyday,” she added.
Nabakooba told the nation that some 13 million masks have been distributed by government in a major drive to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as instructed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni that the Ministry of Health avails free face masks to all Ugandans above the age of six. The distribution started in July with the border and high risk districts. Recently ,distribution also started in Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and other areas.
However, the Minister said that government was receiving disturbing feedback that some of the masks being produced by some of the contracted companies were of poor quality and not fit for public use since they don’t meet the standards issued by Ministry of Health.
“ This is a big disappointment on the side of the suppliers entrusted with the responsibility of producing quality face masks meant to save lives of Ugandans. Government is going to follow up with the respective suppliers and those found guilty of producing substandard masks are at risk of having their contracts cancelled, ‘ she said.
Condemns the fake news about the Kabaka and other national leaders
Nabakooba also condemned unscrupulous individuals who are using social media platforms to spread fake news targeting His Majesty the King of Buganda, Ronald Mutebi II that he had been taken ill. It turned out that the Kabaka was in very good health and enjoying a quiet holiday in neighboring Kenya .
UCC to swing in action and arrest those spreading fake news
The ICT AND NG Minister said Uganda Communications Commission which is operating under her docket , is monitoring the unscrupulous individuals behind the fake news scams and very soon arrests will be made.
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