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Nakaseke RDC bans death announcements on radios amidst surge in Covid-19 cases

Nakaseke RDC Nayebare Kyamuzigita says that broadcasters on community radios have been mobilizing people to attend burials in huge numbers contrary to the presidential guidelines. File Photo

Nakaseke, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner has banned the airing of death announcements on community radios because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. By Sunday, Nakaseke district had registered 430 COVID-19 cases and nine deaths since the country announced the second wave.

At least 182 patients have recovered while another 239 are still battling the virus in their homes and hospital. Now, Nakaseke district COVID-19 taskforce has resolved to ban death announcements on community radios (megaphones) to stop people from attending burials in big numbers as one of the COVID-19 containment measures.

Nayebare Kyamuzigita, the Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner explains that the broadcasters on the community radios have been mobilizing people to attend burials in huge numbers contrary to the presidential guidelines restricting burials to 20 people. He explains that the high number of people attending burials and weddings account for the surge in COVID-19 cases in the district which has compelled them to stop the announcements.

Kyamuzigita urges residents to leave burials to close family members as directed by the president while announcing the second lockdown. He however did not specify the penalty for those found violating the ban. Benjamin Makanga, the Nakaseke sub-county LC V councilor welcomed the ban on death announcements, saying it may help reduce the number of people attend burials.

Makanga says that some people in villages are still reluctant to adhere to the presidential directives. “We have three people who died and will be buried today in Kigege parish. They have notified me as a leader but I won’t attend but you may find huge numbers there,” Makanga said.

Disan Lwanga, the former Kiwoko town LC V councilor says the ban is timely. He however said it might create a very little impact because people can still mobilize each other through the phone or by word of mouth to attend burials. Lwanga said there was a need to continue sensitizing the public about the dangers of attending burials amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moses Ssenfuma, the LC 3 chairperson of Kapeeka sub-county says the ban is minor and asked the taskforce to ensure that the presidential directives are enforced. Ssenfuma says that the police can monitor burials within the communities and ensure that they comply with the restrictions.

The Nakaseke taskforce has also launched mass COVID-19 testing to ensure those with the virus are detected early and enrolled on treatment within homes. The mass testing will begin today at Ngoma health center IV, Semuto HC IV, Kiwoko and Nakaseke hospital.

The task force has advised any sick person to travel to the health centers for treatment and further referrals without necessarily seeking travel permits from either LC 1 chairpersons or the office of the RDC. In Nakasongola, the taskforce has closed the district headquarters for two days starting today to disinfect all offices after four staff tested positive for the virus.

The task force has also ordered selected staff to return to work on Wednesday, 30 June with negative COVID-19 test results. At least 80 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nakasongola district.

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