Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has said that as part of the efforts to fight the pandemic, government should make Coronavirus testing free for all.
Speaking during the first KCCA council meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Lukwago said as the country battles with the pandemic, Kampala continues to be an epicentre but noted many people don’t know their status which he said is a setback to the fight.
“We note with great concern that Kampala is an epicentre for the virus. Testing for Covid should be a routine but it should be done free of charge. We should devise means of ensuring it(testing) is done free of charge,”Lukwago said.
“In private health facilities, testing is as high as shs200,000 and shs300,000 for the PCR test and not less than shs100,000 for the rapid test. We urge government to do the needful so that testing is done free of charge.”
In the past few weeks, both private and public medical facilities in the country have reported running out of AstraZeneca vaccine and consequently, vaccination has been suspended to frustrate the efforts to vaccinate the high risk people.
The Kampala Lord Mayor also expressed concern over this outage that he noted is going to affect efforts to fight the virus.
“We have been asking people to come for vaccination but there are no vaccines. The situation is dire. Government needs to do something about it. We need to revisit our budget as KCCA and see how some allocations can be put to fight Covid.”
Lukwago said all city leaders including mayors and councilors should be allowed to play some roles within their areas of jurisdiction in the fight against the virus.
The Kampala Lord Mayor also commented on reports that 21,000 doses of the Covid vaccine went missing at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
“There are unconfirmed reports making rounds in the media. I was perturbed by the same and shared it with the Executive Director (Kisaka) and agreed to start investigations. I don’t want to take it as gospel truth but if it is true, it is absurd,” Lukwago said.
“We are investigating it and shall establish its authenticity.”
The development comes at a time when Uganda has recorded 49 deaths due to Coronavirus, the highest number of deaths in a single day due to the deadly virus.
Results released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday indicated that on June 14, of the 7238 tests done, 1,110 of the people tested positive to put the cumulative cases at 65631 since the first case was reported in March last year.
Of the 1110 new cases, Kampala had 555 confirmed cases whereas 114 were from Wakiso.