Judith Nabakooba has urged the public to cancel traditional Christmas and end of year travels to the villages.
Judith Nabakooba the State Minister of Information and National Guidance called on the general public to suspend any plans of travelling to the villages for Christmas celebrations.
In the past years, many Ugandans have found it prestigious to travel to the villages to celebrate their festive seasons mainly Christmas and New Year. For many, this is the only chance in almost a full year to get a glance at their grannies.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is always observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
But because of the ongoing coronavirus, Government has raised worries that the festive season travels might culminate into the further spread of the coronavirus.
While giving her weekly assessment on Sunday, Judith Nabakooba called on the general public to suspend any plans of travelling to the villages.
Nabakooba said that most of the people in these areas are old and very vulnerable to the coronavirus. She said that any slight contact with the virus might mean the end of their lives.
Alternatively, the Minister suggested that Ugandans can send money to their counterparts in the villages through mobile money transactions noting that it is the safest and most convenient way for now.
“Majority of the elderly people in the villages are already vulnerable. You can celebrate with them by calling and using the available Mobile Money options instead of risking yours and their health,” she said.
Also, Nabakooba proposed that Ugandans can utilise this festive period to go for complete medical checkups and know their health status.
“Use this time to have a complete medical checkup. Get to know your blood pressure situation including other conditions such as diabetes. Use this holiday season to go for an HIV test and this call specifically goes out to the men,” Nabakooba said.
Meanwhile, this comes at a time when hospitals have been overwhelmed by the increasing COVID-19 cases across the country. By Monday, a total of 27,071 cases and at least 220 deaths have been recorded countrywide.
The health ministry last week stated that Uganda has reached the fourth stage and probably the last stage of the pandemic with various clusters of community cases, whose source can not be traced easily.
The MOH’s director of General Health Services Dr Henry G Mwebesa, also said Friday that several asymptomatic patients who were sent home to self isolate occasionally escape from their homes to mix with those in public.
“They have been found mixing with the communities. Like using public transport, in workplaces, markets, etc. Asymptomatic patients are laboratory-confirmed cases infected with COVID-19 but who do not develop symptoms. However, even with no symptoms, they still spread the infection,” part of Mwebesa’s statement read.