Following the partial reopening of the country after a 42 day lockdown, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has called for the reopening of schools and religious institutions as soon as possible.
Speaking to the media at the party headquarters, FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said if other sectors have survived by complying with the set SOPs, the same is possible for the still closed institutions such as places of worship among others.
Ssemujju explained that the markets have always remained open and heavily congested but they didn’t register alarming numbers of infections, hospitalisations and death adding that markets must therefore become the new area of research.
Using the markets as a case study, Ssemujju said there should be no reason as to why places of worship that are organised and admit fewer people, should remain closed.
“Places of worship must fully re-open as long as they observe the Covid-19 measures. We can even limit them to half their usual congregations.Places of worship are not just for prayers, they are traditionally relief coordination centres,” he said.
He argued that since the population trusts religious institutions more than they trust government, they (religious institutions) should be asked to play a more prominent role in relief mobilisation for the section of society that cannot feed itself during lockdowns.
“Religious leaders should immediately be incorporated into Covid-19 task forces from village to national level. Religious institutions should be asked and where necessary facilitated to offer counselling to people affected by the pandemic, ”he suggested.
He said the proposal to reopen schools after vaccinating children is daydreaming questioning how a country that has failed to vaccinate vulnerable people estimated at 4 million even think of vaccinating 15 million children.