On Thursday, Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda announced that he had gone into self-isolation after some of his contacts tested positive for Covid-19. Rugunda’s announcement caused panic, resulting in a directive that requires all ministers to take a mandatory test for the pandemic.
Well-placed sources at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have intimated to us that two drivers attached to Rugunda’s office who tested positive.
One of the drivers reportedly drove Rugunda last week while another is a driver to a key officer in the office.
“He is somebody we are ever with, in meetings, doing all the paperwork,” the source said.
This, therefore, required all critical staff attached to Rugunda’s office to take 14 days of self-isolation while all staff at OPM headquarters were asked to take COVID-19 tests.
“We took the COVID-19 test and we are safe and negative. This however calls for more vigilance by you and me to defeat this pandemic. If you haven’t tested, you can’t know if you are safe or not, as long as you leave your home to go into the public spaces–given the fact that many people are said to carry it, showing no signs and symptoms at all – and with a lot of appetite to go with it,” Rugunda’s communications advisor, Julius Mucunguzi said in a post on Facebook.
Ministry of Health begun testing the OPM staff on Thursday and was expected to conclude the exercise on Saturday.
The Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine who is also a member of the National COVID-19 task force, said that the testing will extend to members of the task force.
“We have begun testing all ministers and all persons who have been coming into close contact with the public. The task force has been receiving so many people and as such will be tested as well,” Dr. Atwine said.
Testing of high-risk people comes at a time when the country has begun easing the nationwide lockdown. As of June 6, 2020, Uganda had 557 confirmed Covid19 cases and over 80 cases have been released from the hospital after having recovered.