President Museveni has allowed places of worship to reopen as government continues to ease Covid restrictions.
Since the closure of the places of worship, many have argued that it was wrong to keep them closed whereas places with huge crowds like markets, taxi parks and Kikuubo are open.
These insisted that President Museveni is being ill advised by scientists.
Speaking to the country on Wednesday evening, the president said the Covid transmission rate has gone down to an average of 124 cases per day from 1445 cases at the peak of the second wave in June.
“The daily average number of deaths has declined to six from 67 at peak of the second wave in June. Because of the tough measures we took, only 340 people are in hospital at one time. We now have spare capacity of hospital beds,” Museveni said.
He consequently allowed churches, mosques and other places of worship to reopen but noted they will only accommodate 200 people at a time.
“The places of worship can now open with the limit number of worshippers at any one time to not more than 200 provided the place of worship can ensure physical distancing of two meters on either side and adequate aeration,” Museveni said.
“There must be strict adherence to all SOPs at all times including hand washing or use of alcohol based sanitizer, temperature monitoring, and consistent wearing of face masks by all congregants including the choir and preachers.”
The president said there should not be congregation for worship after curfew hours , adding that the 200 persons limited and all other SOPs should be respected even during special occasions like weddings, funeral services, and confirmation among others.
According to Museveni, the number of people attending weddings and funerals has been increased to 200 but under strict observation of SOPs.
Bars still closed
Bars and other places of entertainment were two years back closed as a measure to control the spread of the deadly virus that has ravaged the world.
Speaking on Wednesday, the president said these cannot be reopened now but will have to wait for at least 4.8 million people to be vaccinated.
“Bars are high risk areas where individuals have no sobriety to observe SOPs. You cant go to a bar and expect soberness. You can’t find social distancing and putting on masks in a bar. Even walking is a problem (for drunkards).Because of that problem, they will be considered for reopening when we have vaccinated the six or so people in December,” he said.
The president said curfew time remains between 7pm and 5am.
Museveni insisted that Covid is not a “serious” disease if people listened and followed advice by government and scientists.
“If people had not disobeyed in May and April, we would have avoided the first and second waves. We could have avoided the one in November when people were campaigning and holding rallies saying we are dictators telling people not to gather,” he said.
The development of easing the Covid restrictions comes on the backdrop of an increased number of Ugandans who have been vaccinated against Covid.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that as of September, 20, a total of 1.77 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in Uganda.
However, of the 1.77 million doses, majority are first shots but with the increase in the number of vaccines that the country has received, more Ugandans are expected to get vaccinated.
President Museveni on Wednesday said by the end of December, Uganda will have received 12 million does of vaccines including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Pfizer that will cover over six million people in the country’s efforts to fight the deadly virus.
Uganda aims at vaccinating 22 million people and to this, all people above the age of 18 will receive the vaccine.