Government is set to embark on a Coronavirus mass testing exercise for all ministers, the Nile Post has learnt.
According to messages sent sent to various ministers, the mass testing exercise has kicked off today, Friday at the Office of the Prime Minister building and is mandatory for all ministers.
“Tomorrow Friday, June5, 2020, we will carry out tests for the cabinet. The venue will be 6th floor at the office of the president,” the message to ministers on Thursday evening read in part.
The exercise that started at 9am will stop at 2pm.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona confirmed the development.
“It is now ongoing and we shall be doing it after every two weeks to ensure members of cabinet are safe,” Ainebyoona told the Nile Post.
When asked about the rationale behind the decision, the ministry publicist said it has been necessitated by the nature of the work ministers do which involves moving across the country to supervise government projects and activities.
Ainebyoona added that, “For MPs, the incident management team will from time to time test groups of people basing on information from our response team.”
The development comes barely a week since the Ministry of Health embarked on an exercise to test journalists for Coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the ministry said it wanted to test journalists after realizing that many journalists have been at the front covering Coronavirus related stories and could have contacted the virus.
The ministry officials also said that on many occasions, journalists have not observed the social distancing guideline whereas others don’t wear face masks especially while covering stories related to the pandemic which necessitated the need to have them tested.
The development comes at the backdrop of seven frontline health workers including three nurses, two doctors and two senior level staff had tested positive of the virus on Sunday.
In Gulu, the district LC chairman Martin Ojara Mapenduzi and nine other people including health officials and task force members have been quarantined after coming into contact with a Ministry of Health official who later tested positive.
Uganda’s confirmed Coronavirus cases are currently at 557 whereas 82 of these have since fully recovered and discharged.
In the past, other countries like South Africa, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania have tested their senior government officials.
In South Sudan, over 10 senior government officials including First Vice President,Riek Machar and his wife,also minister of Defence, Angelina Teny have tested positive of the virus.