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300 legislators, parliament staff tested for COVID-19

A section of MPs following the budget speech.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Up to 300 Members and Staff of Parliament were screened for COVID-19 on Thursday. The screening which started at 8 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. followed guidance by the Ministry of Health to test all members as a way of reducing exposure to COVID-19 in the execution of their duties.  

The move followed reports that a female MP could have tested positive for the Virus. However, the said MP told URN that she was still waiting for her COVID-19 test results when news went viral that she had tested positive.  

Several MPs have welcomed the initiative but demanded that it should be repeated every fortnight. Others are demanding for mass testing across the country to establish the magnitude of the problem and at the same time employ interventions that will eliminate the disease.

The leader of Opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ochan who was one of the first to be tested said that the testing is important for both legislators, their staff and family members.

Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe said that the testing of legislators was long overdue. He adds that it is better to ensure safety for all by testing frequently since there are reports that an MP tested positive in recent weeks.  

Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa said the government should consider conducting similar drives from within communities across the country and ensure that all results are disclosed to limit contact with those who may test positive for the virus.   

Kumi County MP Charles Ilukor observed that unfortunately as they wait for their results, several legislators were mixing with others and could spread the virus during the same window. He says that this means tracing them and their contacts will be another hustle.   

The process to test MPs and other officials and staff will continue on Friday and the results will be expected after a day or two.



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