Uganda Shuts Parliament as Over 200 MPs Test COVID-19 Positive

Uganda’s Prime Minister, standing center-left, addresses Members of Parliament in Kampala, Uganda Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Ugandan police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters and arrested dozens of people opposed to plans to introduce legislation that could allow the longtime president Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule. (AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi)

The Republic of Uganda’s Parliament is set to close for two weeks starting Monday, June 28, 2021 as Uganda battles the second wave of COVID-19.

The Deputy Clerk to Parliament in Charge of Corporate Affairs,Henry Waiswa disclosed this through a communication addressed to the members of the parliament on June 22

“Parliament of Uganda like the rest of the country has been affected by the second wave of Covid-19 with a positivity rate of 17 percent. As a mitigating measure in the prevention of Covid-19 infection, the administration of parliament in consultation with the office of the Speaker is closing parliament to Hon. Members of Parliament for a period of two weeks in order to disinfect the parliamentary building”

According to Waiswa, the notice will take effect from Monday, 28 June 2021 to Sunday, 11 July 2021, saying all MPs are advised to adhere to the instruction. Just last week, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Parliament, Chris Obore said that more than 100 of the over 3,000 people tested for COVID-19 to attend the different Parliamentary events in June tested positive. “Out of all those tested for the events, approximately 100 came out positive,” Obore said. He however clarified that the larger category of people were tested for COVID-19, saying positive cases are not only among MPs but include members of staff, security and protocol officers among others.

The decision to suspend the house comes a week after the Deputy Speaker Anita Among adjourned the House on Monday last week shortly after the approval of Vice President Jessica Alupo and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja.

According to data from the Health Ministry, Uganda has registered 73,409 positive COVID-19 cases with 722 more cases confirmed on June 22, 2021. On the same day, 34 people succumbed to the deadly virus.

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