The Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba has advised Ugandans to cancel their Christmas and end of the year travels to villages in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As it is the norm, many Ugandans who work in the country’s major towns and cities travel to their country homes for the festive season.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, Nabakooba said that this year’s travels for festive season should be halted due to the current crisis of COVID-19.
“Given the COVID-19 situation, we are advised to cancel the traditional Christmas and end of the year travels to our villages. Majority of the elderly people in the villages are already vulnerable,” said Nabakooba.
“You can celebrate with them by calling and using the available mobile money options instead for risking your lives and their health. The best way to share love this season is by everyone staying at home and following guidelines against COVID-19,” she added.
According to the latest COVID-19 results released by the Ministry of Health, Uganda currently has a cumulative total of 27,071 confirmed cases and 220 fatalities.
On Friday alone, a total of 702 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Uganda while 1,199 cases were also confirmed on Wednesday this week.
Meanwhile, Nabakooba said that Government has done its part by increasing on the capacities of hospitals fighting the pandemic and sensitizing masses, adding that responsibility is now onto everyone to put in place what has been learnt in regards to prevention measures.
“Many people continue to use their masks as necklaces instead of the recommended way. Masks are supposed to cover the chin, mouth and nose all the time when in public. Others have completely stopped washing hands with soap. I call upon everyone to say no to COVID-19,” she said.
As the country continues to prepare for the upcoming national elections on January 14, 2021 when Ugandans will elect the next president, Nabakooba called upon everyone to listen and put in place advice from the Electoral Commission, Police and the Ministry of Health.
“There is no value gained in disregarding police advice when it comes to managing campaign crowds and venues. Let us therefore support police and other agencies in ensuring that the danger of COVID-19 is minimized,” she said.
Since the commencement of election campaigns, various opposition presidential candidates have defied “scientific campaigns” that were declared by the Electoral Commission in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Electoral Commission, with advice from the Ministry of Health, announced that a campaign rally should have a minimum of 200 people.
However, opposition presidential candidates such as Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) counterpart Patrick Amuriat Oboi have consistently held mass campaign rallies on grounds that various politicians from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party are as well holding mass rallies.
Recently, Police summoned the Minister of State for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune for an explanation after he flouted COVID-19 guidelines by holding a mass campaign rally in his constituency in Kyotera district.