Authorities in Uganda are set to impose fines on those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and those who do not pay could face jail-term, the parliament said on Tuesday.
Despite the fact that the East African country began providing COVID-19 vaccines about a year ago, only roughly 16 million vaccines have been provided in a population of 45 million, with officials blaming widespread aversion.
Parliament’s house-health committee has begun scrutinising Public Health (Amendment) Bill 2021 which seeks to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory.
Those who do not get vaccinated would face a fine of 4 million Ugandan shillings under the new rule.
“According to the proposal, those who do not get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be fined 4 million shillings or (receive) a jail term of six months,” the parliament said in a statement on its website.
The statement did not specify when the draft law will be presented to all members of parliament for consideration.
Uganda’s economy reopened entirely this month following two years of anti-coronavirus measures such as curfews, business and school closures, border restrictions, and other measures.
Although the severe rules served to contain the virus, they were widely criticised by Ugandans whose companies and livelihoods were affected.
According to the Health Ministry data, the country has seen roughly 163,000 cases of COVID-19 and 3,500 deaths.
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