Parliament has continued to conduct plenary business amid increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country and much worse in other countries including our neighbors.
President Yoweri Museveni, who had already decreed measures before and after a single case was registered, is expected to announce new sweeping measures on Tuesday evening as many nations declare total lockdown.
Nevertheless, business continues at Parliament, albeit not the usual way it had been conducted in the past.
First, as communicated by the House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga last week, plenary has been moved from the now narrow chambers to the expansive Conference Hall where chairs are placed at least a meter and half from each other.
There are however only 160 chairs for Members of Parliament against their total number of 450. Understandably many have already chosen to stay at home as country now has 9 confirmed cases with dozens under health monitoring.
The Speaker’s chair is now an ordinary one only placed with a clothed table in front and flags; Ugandan and East African placed besides.
Committee rooms, which used to handle Committee businesses and meetings at Parliament, are all empty as of Tuesday.
Corridors that also used to be busy with dozens running around with their respective duties have also been deserted.
Parliament last week introduced measures including; limiting visits and suspending all tours of Parliament for the next 30 days, gym closed for 30 days, number of persons interfacing with Committees of Parliament are limited to four; Minister, Permanent Secretary and two officials.
All Interns, Personal Assistants, Staff of the various Parliamentary For a were asked to stay home for 30 days, Parliament canteen restricted to only MPs and staff, personal visitors suspended and non-critical staff told to to work from home.