President Museveni Praises Minister Aceng Amidst Backlash For Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines

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President Yoweri Museveni has heaped praises on Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng whom he discribes as a good scientist, hardworking and committed individual.

This, as the minister faces backlash from members of the public for flouting COVID-19 guidelines of social distancing and wearing a face mask while in Lira district recently.

During last night’s address on COVID-19 pandemic situation in Uganda, president Museveni said Dr. Aceng together with her team have done a great job in preventing the spread of Corona virus in the country.

“One time I had gone to Lira in the days when we were fighting the terrorists and I found there a young lady hardworking, very dedicated, I noted her and then later alone I brought her because I could see that she was committed. I brought her to the ministry I said you come and bring the devotion I saw in Lira and she worked as Director General of Medical Services until when I appointed her a minister” recounted president Museveni.

He said due to her remarkable efforts in fighting COVID-19 in Uganda, Langi people wrote to him requesting that he allows the minister represent them in parliament an idea he initially didn’t support until she (Aceng) publicly declared her interest to stand for the Lira woman MP seat.

” Before that she had told me that she wanted to go and stand in Lira, I said no don’t because you don’t need to stand, your constituency is Nakasero. You do your work your constituency is here. That’s when we were in Togo in January. So I thought I had convinced her to leave these Langis alone and concetrate on the medical work at the Ministry” revealed Museveni.

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Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng – file photo

While commenting on the viral pictures and Video in which Dr. Aceng was seen interacting with people with no facemask and not observing social distancing, president Museveni said he doesn’t think the minister did it intensionally as she didn’t invite people to converge.

“I don’t think she’s the one who said you come and we have a rally, the problem was to put herself in a situation where these people would converge” said the president.

He advised politicians to do as much as possible to avoid crowds until the situation normalizes.

Meanwhile, the president eased restrictions on operations of bodabodas and Arcades that were imposed in March this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are the key highlights of last night’s presidential address.

Out of the 170 inspected arcades, only 110 have complied with the Ministry of health guidelines and will  be allowed to reopen  with immediate effect.

Saloons are to be reopened immediately on condition that operators put on face shields and customers wear face masks alongside other standard operating Procedures that will be issued by the ministry of health.

Boda Boda riders are to start carrying passengers on July 27th. These will have to wear helmets, enclosing the mask inside and the passengers have to wear face masks too. They must also record every passenger they transport and sanitize their seats as well as have temperature guns at their stages.

Curfew too has been eased. Movement allowed  between 5:30 am and 9:00pm. However Boda-Bods have to stop at 6:00pm.

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Because 3rd term starts in September, government will make a decision on whether to reopen schools or declare a dead year by the end of August. In the meantime emphasise is to be put on long distance learning.

In an effort to ensure social distancing and keeping worshippers safe from COVID-19, places of worship will remain closed until consultations on how they can reopen amidst COVID-19 are done. 

The Entebbe International Airport will remain closed as well as the borders.

Uganda currently has 1,072 COVID-19 cases with 985 recoveries and Zero deaths.

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