The enforcement of the renewed COVID-19 restrictions is still an uphill task at several government offices. Members of the public are yet to comply with the presidential directives that are meant to curtail new infections.
On Friday last week, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced stringent restrictions in his televised address in the wake of resurging COVID-19 cases in the country. Museveni ordered the immediate enforcement of wearing face masks, and a COVID-19 vaccination certificate as a prerequisite to access public transport and religious, cultural, and local council gatherings and evidence of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination.
The directive also requires anyone without a vaccination permit to produce a PCR-based test conducted within 24 hours before they gain access to government offices and social gatherings. Further people with comorbidities including citizens aged 50 years and above are required to get vaccinated with evidence of a boost-up doze.
URN toured several public areas such as Parliament, Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies – MDAs as well as courts, markets, bus terminals, and taxi parks across the capital, Kampala on Thursday and found it was business as usual.
The Mawogola South Member of Parliament, Gorreth Namugga, wondered if the country is still recording new COVID-19 cases that warrant tough restrictions and slammed the Government for rushing to vaccinate the population.
Parliament is holding its end-of-year party later today. Namugga notes that all legislators, staff, and visitors alike have been invited and are being allowed entry without restrictions.
Equally, she added that parties are being conducted everywhere across Uganda without compliance with the revived restrictions.
Her counterpart Margaret Makokha, the Namayingo District Woman Representative says while the virus is still raging, stringent restrictions reintroduced by the President would not work because the disease has impacted negatively on the livelihoods of the population.
Davis Tumwesigye, a Boda-boda rider, and resident of Kamwokya says he completed the first two cycles of vaccination against the contagion. However, he notes he has never been given the vaccination certificate. Notably, several individuals who have got vaccination cards reported that they couldn’t access their particulars on the Ministry of Health portal.
The portal is Uganda’s Official online public COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate and Verification Platform. Once one completes the COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Government issues a Vaccination Certificate that will confirm inoculation and is issued 14 days after the person receives his/her last dose.
The certificate carries all the basic details of the beneficiary like name, age, gender, and also all the details of both vaccination doses that include; date, batch number, vaccine, and manufacturer. Uganda has registered 170,694 confirmed cases of the virus with a record 3,632 deaths since March 2020.
The President also directed the Ministry of Health to re-launch COVID-19 vaccination targeting especially elderly persons, people with comorbidities, and children aged 12-17years. Currently, the National Medical Stores– NMS that is mandated to procure, store and distribute essential medicines and medical supplies to public health facilities in the country has up to 22,615,954 doses of Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in stock for the purpose.