Parliament of Uganda confirms 5 COVID-19 positive cases

Ugandan parliament approves 2018/2019 financial year budget
Parliament of Uganda

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Parliament of Uganda has confirmed that five of its staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement issued by Helen Kaweesa, the Assistant Director of Communications and Public Affairs indicates that the positive cases were recorded after a random testing exercise at the Parliament last week.

“It has been established that five members of staff have tested positive for the virus. The affected staff have been informed of their status and referred to the Ministry of Health. They are now undergoing treatment in the recommended health facilities,” reads part of Kawesa’s statement.

Kawesa further reveals that following the positive cases, the precincts of parliament will be disinfected on Saturday 5th September and that the numbers of staff are to be further scaled down with immediate effect.

“The other staff that was in contact with the affected have been identified and advised to stay home in self-quarantine. If they develop any signs and symptoms, they have been advised to contact the Parliament doctor immediately who will then liaise with the Ministry of Health to have them tested,” further reads the statement.

Kawesa says that the identified contacts will also be subject to mandatory testing after two weeks whether they exhibit signs of COVID-19 or not. She adds that the institution is working with the Health Ministry to ensure that all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are followed as the prevailing situation is managed.

Regarding rumors about some MPs testing positive, Kawesa said that they have not got any results from the Ministry of Health indicating that there are legislators who have tested positive.

Since Uganda recorded its first COVID-19 case on March 21st, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga directed several measures to be implemented to tame the spread of the virus among Members of Parliament, staff and visitors.

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Since then, only 100 MPs are allowed to attend each parliament sitting out of a total of 457 legislators to observe physical distancing in the chambers. Visitors and personal assistants to legislators were also barred from accessing the parliament precincts while the number of journalists covering the House was also reduced.

Committee meetings are also conducted with only a few witnesses allowed to appear before a given committee. Those accessing the parliament building are at all times required to wear masks, wash hands and have their temperature measured.

To date, Uganda has registered 3,353 COVID-19 positive cases and out of these 1,564 people have recovered while 35 have died.