The Ministry of Health has released a statement refuting claims of government lifting a lockdown on bars and music concerts.
Following reports that have been making rounds on different social media platforms about the government lifting a lockdown on bars and music concerts, the Ministry of Health has released a statement refuting these claims.
On Wednesday, a statement from the Uganda National Culture Center (UNCC), a statutory body under the Ministry of Gender made rounds on social media about government lifting a ban on the arts and culture sector.
Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) through its chairman board of trustees, Mr Sam Okello noted in the letter that the entertainment sector was allowed to reopen for work provided they observe SOPs in place aimed at fighting the spread of the COVID-19.
“Our art and culture sector has now been opened to operate but with strict observance of the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Guidelines and SOPS,” read a December 16, 2020 letter signed by Mr Okello- that aligned with the relaxation of restrictions affecting the “Arts and Culture” sector.
He added: “Our Art and Culture sector took a longer time to open considering that our business or activities mainly involve having many people around which is risky.”
The news was well-received by many of those in the entertainment industry including musicians and comedians who have spent nearly nine months without being allowed to perform on stage.
However, hours later the health ministry issued a statement refuting these claims. They said that the arts and culture industry will remain closed and did not offer a date on when they will be allowed to operate like it was being reported in media.
The Ministry reminded based on a November report that only cinemas were permitted to open on November 14, 2020, with persons required to maintain a two-meter distance and strict adherence to all COVID-19 preventive measures.
“The Ministry of health also used its social media platforms restating, “As indicated by the Ministry of Health in a statement read on November 09, 2020; under entertainment, only cinemas were permitted to open on November 14, 2020,” the MOH reminded.
“This was only meant to be possible provided, “persons maintain a 2-meter distance in all directions with adherence to all COVID-19 preventive measures. All bars, night clubs and discotheques remain closed,” added.
This comes at a time when the Ministry continues to advise the general public to desist from relaxing the Standard Operating Procedures aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19.
The Ministry last week, noted that Uganda is in stage four of the pandemic meaning there are many community infections whose contacts and sources cannot be identified easily.
As of Thursday morning, a total of 28,733 COVID-19 cases have been registered countrywide. Of these, 10,070 people have recovered from the virus while 225 have succumbed to it.