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Uganda opens places of worship, keeps schools shut

Thursday September 23 2021
Covid vaccine, Uganda.

A Ugandan prison officer receives the first injection of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago Referral Hospital in Kampala, on March 10, 2021. PHOTO | AFP

By DAILY MONITOR

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday ordered the reopening of worship centres, but with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

“Places of worship can now open under strict guidelines like, limiting the number to 200 people and adhering to all other Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs )in place,” he said.

The number of people attending weddings and other social events was also increased to 200, while casinos, gaming, betting shops, and gyms were allowed to operate during the day and close by 6pm. 

Mr Museveni also allowed weekly and monthly markets to open with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

Mr Museveni, however, kept other sectors closed, reasoning that the number of people already vaccinated is still too low and therefore cannot risk reopening fully.

“The 4.8 million priority population, including teachers, should first get vaccinated before we can open schools. Post-secondary institutions to open with effect from November 1, 2021, on the condition that all teachers and non-teaching staff are vaccinated. The rest of the learning institutions will open in January 2022,” he said.

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To date, out of the targeted 550,000 teachers, 269,945 have already received the first dose of the vaccine while 96,653 have received the second dose. 

“I, therefore, direct responsible leaders at the district level (Resident District Commissioners, Chief Administrative Officers, District Health Officers, and others) to carry out mobilisation for all eligible groups to go for vaccination. If medicines get expired in your area, I will deal with you,” Mr Museveni said.

The Ugandan president maintained curfew time between 7pm and 5am.

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