Aging public servants, breastfeeding mothers to stay home amid rising COVID-19 cases

Breastfeeding mothers to continue working from home amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Amidst the fears of increased COVID-19 cases as Uganda eases the nationwide lockdown, the Public Service Ministry has asked key groups to stay away from office.

In a circular dubbed the post lockdown Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to Ministries, Departments and Local Governments, the Ministry urges staff of advanced age, those with chronic illnesses and breast feeding mothers to continue working from home.

Signed by the Ministry Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the circular asks top administrators to identify 30 per cent of their critical staff to remain on duty and allow the remaining staff to continue working remotely like it has been over the last two months of the lockdown.

She however says the staff should be able to avail themselves once asked to appear physically at their work stations. The directive comes in the wake of new coronavirus patients being picked from key agencies. The latest patients were picked from Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and the Office of the Prime Minister.

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Some staff of the Internal Affairs Ministry also recently tested positive for the viral respiratory disease. Bitarakwate urges the staff that will remain in office and respect the Ministry of Health guidelines of wearing a face mask, maintaining proper hand hygiene and ensuring physical distancing whenever possible, a reason she banned physical meetings replacing them with virtual alternatives such as video conferencing.

When it comes to those working in shifts, Bitarakwate says there should be limited possibilities of the two categories of workers meeting. She advises that the workers are given one hour to change shifts in addition to staggering lunch hours such that people can access canteens and cafeterias at work places in different intervals to minimize crowding.