Kampala – President Museveni has, on Wednesday, announced the reopening of places of worship and set stringent conditions for schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This development follows a clear reflection of the infection rates of Uganda and Museveni had this to say,,
“The daily average number of confirmed cases over the last one month has declined and stabilized at 124 cases countrywide, from an average of 1,445 cases at the peak of the second wave in June 2021. Similarly, the daily average number of deaths has declined to 6 from 57 deaths at the height of the peak of the second wave.”
He added: “As of 22nd September 2021, the country has registered 122,502 confirmed cases and 3,135 deaths. Additionally, the current admissions stand at 340 in both public and private facilities (272 in public, 66 in prisons and only 2 in the private facilities), of whom 144 (38%) are in the severe and critical category”
In a nationally aired and televised address, President Museveni revealed that places of worship should reopen under strict observation of the anti-covid standard operating Procedures.
“Places of worship can now open under the following conditions; limit the number of worshipers at any one time to not more than 200, provided the place of worship can ensure physical distancing of 2 meters on either side and adequate aeration,” Museveni emphasised.
He, however, cautioned leaders (clerics, pastors, etc) to desist from operating or holding congregations after 6 pm ahead of the curfew hours; which have since been maintained at 7 pm – 5:30 am.
President Museveni also argued that schools shall remain closed to avert the risk of sporadic COVID-19 cases exposing children to the virus.
“Infections in children below 18 years are often mild and they recover quickly. However, many of the 15Million learners are day scholars; once infected, go back home & infect their parents and grandparents that may subsequently succumb to the virus,” Museveni presented case for the sustained closure of schools.
Museveni, however, revealed the post-secondary schools and tertiary institutions would open upon satisfactory vaccination of teachers, staff and students.
“Post-Secondary institutions of learning to open with effect from 1st November 2021 on condition that; all teachers and non-teaching staff are vaccinated,” said Museveni.
He revealed that primary and secondary schools shall open in January 2022 upon satisfactory vaccination targets of close to 5million people in eligible groups.
On vaccines, Museveni revealed Uganda expects 12 million doses of vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinovac) between now and December. So far, only 1.78 million people have been vaccinated although the majority of them still await the second jab.
It is on this note that the President directed district officials and authorities to mobilise eligible groups for vaccination in the wake of the pandemic.
“I, therefore, direct all Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), District Health Officers (DHOs), to carry out effective sensitization for all eligible groups to go for vaccination. I’ll dismiss you if you register expired #COVID19 Vaccine doses,” Museveni sanctioned cautioning the said officials.
Museveni broke the hearts of revellers once against declining to open concerts, disco halls, performing artists and beaches, bars, Cinemas and bibanda (local Cinema halls). He sustained that they will emain closed until at least the 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated.
“Bars and discos are high-risk areas where individuals have no sobriety to observe SOPs. …. We can review after vaccination of 4.8m people – most likely by December 2021,” said Museveni
He sustained that cinema halls and Bibandas lacked proper aeration which has since been linked to increasing the spread of the virus – referencing the case in Europe.
Casino and gaming centre business smiled their way into reopening after President Museveni revealed that they would operate up to 6 pm.
FULL SPEECK/ADDRESS September 22, 2021