TOP
Friday,October 30,2020 20:46 PM
  • Home
  • National
  • Coronavirus: Additional measures as Uganda prays

Coronavirus: Additional measures as Uganda prays

By Joseph Kizza

Added 21st March 2020 01:34 PM

"We have decided to prohibit all passenger planes. Only cargo planes will be allowed to come into and go out of Uganda," announces President Museveni.

Coronavirus: Additional measures as Uganda prays

"We have decided to prohibit all passenger planes. Only cargo planes will be allowed to come into and go out of Uganda," announces President Museveni.

COVID-19 - ADDITIONAL MEASURES

 Live reporting by Joseph Kizza

alt=''

Twitter: @joekizza

(Scroll down the page for earlier updates)

___________________________________


8:40pm  |  That's all for today

So this is the last post for this live text commenatry. Once again, thank you for sticking with me.

As we part ways, I feel I should remind you to stay safe, heed the anti-coronavirus guidelines and everything will be okay.

Oh and don't forget to pray for our nation Uganda and all the other nations of the world affected directly or indirectly by the coronavirus pandemic. Let us pray for the souls of the thousands of the people that have succumbed to this virus and also for their families and friends that God may comfort them and offer them protection. Also keep in your prayers those who are sick from the virus and other forms of sickness.

As a world, we need to collectively go on our knees and pray for intercession.

Good night!

(I will leave you with this picture of this lady and her child wearing face masks at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City)

 




___________________________________


8:35pm  |  Entry points closure way to go - Aceng

 

Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, who is among a select team of leaders of key institutions in the room at State House, thanks the President for tightening the screws and says the additional measures "will go a long way in enhancing our measures on the ground".

"I do believe that closing the entry points is the way to go" as it will help the authorities better monitor the situation around the country.

She says that her ministry receives as many as 2,000 alerts on a daily basis and that the public sensitization needs to continue.

"We have nearly over 1,800 people quarantined all over the country," says Aceng and explains that these constitute those completing self-quarantine and those under institutional quarantine.

 

The minister calls on people living near those in self-isolation not to discrimate against them and to instead focus on ensuring that they themselves heed the guidelines.

The health ministry is planning to distribute the standard operation procedures (SOPs) in seven different languages to all parts of the country - which included observing hygiene (using soap and water and hand sanitiser).

"I want to thank the President for emphasising that those who are sick stay at home," says Aceng.

She urges those with symptoms to alert health authorities so that they can establish whether that running nose or cold is related to coronavirus.



___________________________________


8:27pm  |  'The young people should be careful'


 

The President also reiterates his call from his Wednesday directives to the young people "to be very careful" against the backdrop of talk that coronavirus does not kill young people.

From some of the information coming in from affected countries, Museveni says, 20% of the people succumbing to coronavirus are young people.

His thinking is that this could be that the virus is changing. "Therefore, everyone should be careful," he cautions.

Critically, the President also warns people against sneezing in public - that they should stay home and self-isolate.


___________________________________



8:22pm  |  'Do not share excessive pessimism by some actors'

Additionally, the President also calls on Ugandans to steer clear of "excessive pessimism of some actors" regarding the economy of  Uganda in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

He says that while some sectors like tourism, entertainment and sports will be directly affected, it is a chance of local players to seize the opportunity and produce what the country would have otherwise imported from other countries.

The President says his government will support local manufacturers.



___________________________________



8:14pm  |  No entry by land and by water

Pending an East African Community Response Place, no person, Uganda or otherwise, will be allowed to enter Uganda by land or by water - except for the drivers and accompanying crews (not exceeding three in number) for cargo vehicles like trailers.

No buses, minibuses, boda bodas, cyclists and pedestrians will be allowed to enter and leave Uganda.

The President calls upon local council (LC) chairpersons especially in the border regions to work with security authorities to report those violating the said directives.

"These measures are backed by the force of law as provided for by Public Health Act," says Museveni, and anyone who violates the measures will suffer prosecutation and imprisonment.


___________________________________



8:09pm  |  ADDITIONAL MEASURES: No incoming passenger planes

Hello and welcome to this extended text coverage of President Yoweri Museveni's additional directives against the coronavirus, following his measures on Wednesday.

alt=''

 

To begin with, he starts off by announcing that all incoming passenger planes have been prohibited from landing at any of the airports in Uganda.

"We have decided to prohibit all passenger planes. Only cargo planes will be allowed to come into and go out of Uganda. Also allowed in are planes on account of emergency as wellas all planes involved in UN relief work. The pilots of such planes will be accommodated in agreed places agreed with concerned authorities" he says.

This will come into effect on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Domestic flights will continue for now. This, the President says, may change later since these flights are crowded, with passengers


___________________________________


6:15pm  |  Coronavirus: Additional measures


 

The President ends his delivery by announcing that he will announce additional anti-coronavirus measures this evening.

I will bring you the updates.

For now, that's it for today's national prayer session. I am glad you followed along from the time we kicked off earlier in the afternoon.

Most importantly, let us continue to intercede for our nation as well as also praye for all the other nations that have been affected directly by the coronavirus crisis. Let us also pray for the families and friends whose loved ones have succumbed to this deadly disease.

Good evening.


___________________________________



6:09pm  |  'This challenge may be a wakeup call' - Museveni

 

The President says that is happy that the measures he announced on Wednesday are being heeded, especially the one of crowds and gatherings.

On religious gatherings specifically, he says: "Divinity is not all about gatherings and that as a matter of fact, gatherings is only an aspect of it."

On the effect of the coronavirus on the economy, the President starts off by saying he is "never pessimistic".

While he admits that sectors such as tourism will take a hit because tourists are not coming into the country, "other aspects to the economy will thrive".

"Uganda has been spending $7 billion annually from importing things from other countries," underlines the President, adding that with this crisis, local manufacturers should take advantage by filling the gap.

"Actually, this challege may turn out to be a wakeup call [to Ugandans and Africans]," says Museveni.

He thanks the religious leaders for the national prayers and warns Ugandans not to "take this as a joke!"



___________________________________


5:55pm  |  'As we pray, we must also do'

President Museveni says that people should not just stop at prayer.

"I am glad we are praying, but even as we pray, we must also continue doing as much to battle coronavirus. God created us in his own image and gave us the power to establish dominion over nature. Eventually, we shall defeat COVID-19."

He also hails Pope Francis for taking the lead in the banning of religious gatherings when the new coronavirus spread out to other parts of the world.

At the beginning of this week, the Vatican took the drastic step of cancelling Easter week celebrations as northern Italian leaders warned they were running out of beds and artificial respirators.

Pope Francis left Vatican City on Sunday "on foot, as if on a pilgrimage" to pray in one of Rome's cathedrals for victims of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a story by AFP.

 


___________________________________


5:50pm  |  'I believe there is God because I have seen it'

"I believe there is God because I have seen it in my life," says President Yoweri Museveni.

He says the idea of the national prayer came from the religious leaders. "My only contribution is that I accepted immediately."

Prayer has worked, according to the scriptures, he adds.

"The locusts came and they ate nothing. Apparently, they had eaten a lot of things in Kenya and Somalia. These ones had eaten too much and had come to just lay eggs.

"The calamity of the locusts has been neutralised," says Museveni after a detailed discourse on the recent invasion of desert locusts.

 


___________________________________


5:37pm  |  Human beings are difficult to manage - Aceng

"There are many nations that delayed to take decisions," says the health minister.

"It a battle that needs precision, timely decisions and above all, that needs the Lord.

"We have tested many samples - over a hundred - and all of them have turned in negative.

The minister says these samples are run three times for certainty and that her team have "repeated and reaffirmed that they are negative".

Aceng also says the category one countries are "very fluid as the pandemic evolves" and that her ministry has criteria they use to determine these nations, whose list they update every Wednesday.

"Today, there are over 25 category one countries," says the health minister.

 

Of the people travelling into the country, she says the numbers have grown ever since they started mandatory quarantine and they they "are not easily manageable" - they are big".

"Human beings are difficult to manage. We need to change our behaviour. There is a lot we have to do to change human behaviour because this virus goes with human behaviour.

"Wash your hands with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with your hands.

Aceng also thanks the religious leaders for their efforts in sensitizing the public, particularly, through the translation of key messages. She also asks the clergy to "pray for us", as it is "a battle we can win on our knees" in prayer.



___________________________________


5:29pm  |  COVID19 is a battle - Health minister Aceng

Minister Bahati invites health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng to address the nation.

 

"COVID19 is a battle," she starts off.

"This battle needs crying out to the Lord because many nations have been brought to their knees."

She thanks the President for his intervention in delivering directives to the nation aimed at keeping coronavirus at bay.

"I want to thank you for taking this battle head-on."


___________________________________


5:24pm  |  Blessings

After the passionate closing prayer by the First Lady, Archbishop Kaziimba blesses the congregation and nation.

The choir next up with the Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer hymn.


___________________________________


5:20pm  |  Please forgive us for anything we have done - First Lady

First Lady Janet Museveni prays (I have plucked out excerpts from her prayer):

 

"Heavenly Father, we come into your presence to thank you. We thank you Lord for the leadership of our President who has given this call for us to pray and fast."

She also thanks the leaders who have answered this call.

"We rely on the ever-present guidance of the Holy Spirit to pray. We can testify that every time we have called on your name, you have answered us.

By grace, you have brought uganda through the dark days, prays Mrs. Museveni.

"You have more than turned around the curse that was brought by HIV. You have rescued us time and time again from diseases such as Ebola and Marburg."

"We have seen city after city in the world come under siege of this evil stronghold.

"Please forgive us for anything that we have done - knowingly and unknowingly. Please hear our cry today and answer us with kindness.

"We also bring to you all the children and youth of Uganda, and their families that have been adffected by this situation. We pray that you be gracious to them.

"Please ensure that there is no restlessness and idleness in our youths. We thank you for the schools and our teachers (...) but utlimately, we look to you to teach our children and grant them the wisdom that comes from You.

"Jesus, we trust that you are with us in this boat that is Uganda," prays the First Lady, and asks the Lord to steer our nation out of this crisis as He had done several times before.

"Do not allow fear and panic to rule in our lives."



___________________________________


5:08pm  |  'We know you as an intercessor'

We are coming to the end of today's prayers and the First Lady, Janet Museveni, will lead the closing prayer.

And Archbishop is full of praises for President's Museveni's wife.

"We know you as an intercessor and you have been doing this for many years," he tells her.

But before she can step forward, the choir has a special song. It is a version of 'Then sings my soul' that I am listening to for the first time.

Great job Bugema University Choir! Beautiful voices!

 

___________________________________


5:04pm  |  We pray that you strengthen our unity - Sheikh Waiswa

The Second Deputy Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, prays for peace and unity in the wake of the this global health crisis.

"We pray that you strengthen our unity and we pray that you inspire us to work for one another and protect the peace that is prevailing in our country.

"Almighty God, with the coronavirus, there cannot be peace.

"We pray, Almighty God for exoneration and well being in this life and the life after.

"Almighty Allah, we seek refugee in you from punishment of whichever nature

"We pray that you grant us a good outcome in all our affairs," he prays.


___________________________________


4:55pm  |  'We need to listen to our President'

We need to listen to our President. He has been right 99% of the time about similar disasters, says Kayanja.

"And if we keep listening, he will take us to the other side."


___________________________________


4:49pm  |  Easing financial burden on Ugandans

Pastor Kayanja prays for Uganda's economy in the face of the coronavirus crisis. He underlines measures that various government agencies should undertake to ease the financial burden on ordinary citizens.

He talks of tax exemptions on a number of services as this "demon from hell" (coronavirus) continues to leave its footrpint across the world.

He prays that God gives the Ugandan government resilience.

Kayanja prays that the disaster and preparedness ministry should be "more robust" in dealing with disasters beyond such common catastrophes as landslides.


___________________________________


4:42pm  |  God will protect us again - Kayanja

"The God who helped us with HIV and Ebola will help us weather the [coronavirus] storm," prays Pastor Robert Kayanja.

"I believe that with our prayers, our leaders and with the people's behavoural change, we shall overcome this coronavirus.

"God has protected us before and He will protect us again," prays Kayanja.



___________________________________


4:37pm  |  Praying for families, homeless and sick

Pastor Martson Daniel Matte, the Archbishop of the Adventist Church of Uganda, prays for the protection of families in Uganda and around the world.

He also prays for God's "graciousness" to "surround our homes".

He also prays for the homeless and for the sick.



___________________________________


4:33pm  |  Thank you for being good to Uganda - Serwadda

In his prayer, Presiding Apostle Dr. Joseph Serwadda thanks the Almighty for protecting Uganda against the coronavirus.

"Accept our thanks for protecting this nation till today.

"We bear witness that so far, there has been no confirmed cases of coronavirus. Thank you for being good to Uganda. Thank you for proving that you are a God who knows our needs.," he prays.

He also asks God to lead researchers around the world in the search for a cure against this virus and many other such diseases.

"You are a rock of all ages. Bring an end to this disease. We thank you because you hear our prayer."


___________________________________


4:25pm  |  We have the best motto in the world - Lwanga

Before his intercession prayer, Archbishop Lwanga starts by saying that Uganda has the best motto in the world: 'For God and my country'.

He starts off by saying how pleased he was with President Museveni taking the lead in the fight against the new coronavirus by issuing nationwide directives mid-this week.

"God loves us and through our prayers, He will assist us in this pandemic," he says.

In his prayer, Lwanga asks God to "stem the stride of the coronavirus transmission" and also prays for the Ugandan government to "handle well and effectively this new challenge".

Give us all faith, hope and love in handling the current emerging challenges, he prays.

Lwanga also makes it clear that by the President directing the closure of all places of worship, he was only doing so to protect Ugandans - not stop them from praying.


___________________________________


4:18pm  |  All our claims settled by blood of Jesus

Let us pray.

"Through the bloood of Jesus, we are redemeed.

Through the blood of Jesus, we are forgiven.

Through the blood of Jesus, we are washed, cleansed and protected.

Through the blood of Jesus, we are preserved and healed.

Through the blood of Jesus, we are justified and sanctified.

Through the blood of Jesus, Satan has no unsettled debt or claim on Uganda.

All claims have been been settled by the blood of Jesus.

Amen."


___________________________________


4:13pm  |  God's covenant

"We ask you to be our God, our provider and our protector.

"You are the God of yesterday, today and forever.

"You have the power to save us from this plague."


___________________________________


4:06pm  |  Time for intercession

Next up, it is time to intercede for our nation Uganda, and a couple of religious leaders will lead us in this part of today's special prayers.

One of them is Kampala Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.

This is a time to implore God's favour, protection and healing, as we need it more than ever.


___________________________________


4:04pm  |  🎤 How great thou art

Followed by another hymn - 'How great thou art':

 

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!



___________________________________


3:58pm  |  'Thank you for the wonderful message'

 

After his delivery, Archbishop Kaziimba thanks Dr. Kakembo for his
wonderful message" and also says he is impressed by the retired Adventist Archbishop's awareness on how to take care of himself in the face of the coronavirus threat.

Before the intercessions, the Bugema University Choir leads the hymn 🎤 'Fight the good fight with all thy might':


1
    Fight the good fight with all thy might!
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

2
    Run the straight race through God's good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.

3
    Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide;
His boundless mercy will provide;
Trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life, and Christ its love.

4
    Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.


___________________________________


3:55pm  |  A passionate appeal to Ugandans

 

In his conclusion, makes an appeal to Ugandans to stick to directives by authorities.

"Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, I have been to Kampala once, I live in Mukono my home town. I have watched the news, and in many sectors, life goes on kama kawaida (as usual). Nothing has changed!"

He reads a letter from a person in Italy - the second-most affected country after China in this pandemic. The letter details what the European nation along Mediterranean coastline is going through in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and warns Ugandans not to repeat the mistakes of the Italians.

The letter talks of people in Italy being "confused, sad and helpless" due to the pandemic. That initially, people there did not heed warnings by authorities to keep away from normal public space.

Kakembo urges Ugandans to continue heeding measures to keep coronavirus at bay as well as to continue praying for the nation.



___________________________________


3:42pm  |  Be watchful - Kakembo

Kakembo says the most important thing for Ugandans now is "to be watchful".

"Watch your soul consciously, watch your soul deliberately - in order to stay with the Lord."

He also tells people to be spiritually wise.

"There are people who take their relationship with God for granted. And since His coming is unknown, we will either be foolish or wise. I would like to be among those who are wise," he says, before turning to President Museveni.

"Your Excellency, would you like to be among the wise when Jesus comes?"

The President smiles as he raises his right hand, drawing applause from the congregation.

alt=''

 

___________________________________


3:35pm  |  'It is a humbling experience'

Kakembo says that the coronavirus crisis is "a humbling experience. It has the capacity to humble a [US President Donald] Trump. It has the capacity to humble every humankind".

By Saturday, the number of novel coronavirus cases globally had stood at 271,660 with 11,401 deaths, across 164 countries and territories, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.


___________________________________


3:28pm  |  'I sneezed and had to run to the pharmacy'

Reminding us that the new coronavirus has been reported to take a greater toll on older people, Kakembo lightens the mood with a recent personal experience:

"The other day I sneezed, and I quickly ran to the pharmacy and packed myself some Amoxicillin (an antibiotic) and some herbals," he sends the room into laughter.


___________________________________


3:23pm  |  Dr. Kakembo main preacher

Retired Adventist Archbishop, Dr John Kakembo, is today's preacher.

 

"I spend a lot of time on CNN, BBC and other media and when I see how COVID19 has affected the developed world, bringing them to their knees, and then I look at us, Uganda, who have everything developing, and especially if you look at the carefree attitude of our masses, you must attribute this to something else," he opens his delivery.

"And as far as I know, it is only God."

"We are here to thank who is responsible for our security thus far."


___________________________________


3:15pm  |  Introductions

After the gospel reading, Archbishop Kaziimba introduces the clergy in attendance to President Museveni.

I am not going to name them, but I feel it is important to tell you that all religious sects are represented at Entebbe.

 

He then invites the congregation to sing 🎤'Rock of Ages':

(Again, if you are in musical mood)

1
    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.

2
    Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All could never sin erase,
Thou must save, and save by grace.

3
    Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

 

___________________________________


3:09pm  |  Gospel reading

Next up, Vicar General of Kampala Archdiocese, Msgr. Charles Kasibante, delivers the Gospel reading from the Book of Matthew.

I remember Msgr. Kasibante from my time at St. Mary's College, Kisubi back in the day. He never ages, this man of God! :)


___________________________________


3:07pm  |  🎤 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

Archbishop Kaziimba invites the congregants to sing the hymn 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds' from the booklet.

I am sure some of you would love to sing along . . .

1     How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
  In a believer's ear!
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
  And drives away his fear,
  And drives away his fear,
  And drives away his fear,
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
  And drives away his fear.

2
    It makes the wounded spirit whole,
  And calms the troubled breast;
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
  And to the weary rest,
  And to the weary rest,
  And to the weary rest,
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
  And to the weary rest.

3
    Dear Name! the Rock on which we build;
  Our shield and hiding-place;
Our never-failing treasury, filled
  With boundless stores of grace,
  With boundless stores of grace,
  With boundless stores of grace,
Our never-failing treasury, filled
  With boundless stores of grace.

 

___________________________________


3:05pm  |  Reading from Q'uran

Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje's representative, is invited to deliver a third reading - which is two-part: one in English and the other in Arabic.


___________________________________


3:02pm  |  Second reading

The second reading is from the Book of Jonah 3: 6-10:

6 When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

"By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.


___________________________________


3:00pm  |  First reading

The first reading is extracted from the Second Book of Chronicles (6: 26-31):

26 "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

28 "When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.


___________________________________


2:58pm  |  'Bless our nation'

The Archbishop of the SDA Church in Uganda, Dr. Daniel Matte, leads the opening prayer.

"Thank you for bringing us together as your children," he prays to God.

"We pray that you will bless our nation.

"We pray that your goodness and kindness shall prosper this nation."


___________________________________


2:53pm  |  'Thank you for listening to God'

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba is leading today's prayers. He opens the special session by delivering a reading from the book of Prophet Jeremiah 3:21.

Once done, he thanks President Museveni for "listening to God and setting aside this time for prayer".

Outside, it is a very hot Saturday afternoon.


___________________________________


2:46pm  |  President Museveni arrives

President Yoweri Museveni has emerged into the prayer room accompanied by his wife Janet.

All rise and wave back to the President, before the national and East African anthems are sung accompanied by a band.


___________________________________


2:43pm  |  First coronavirus death in DR Congo

By AFP

The Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday reported its first coronavirus death, along with five new cases.

The country has reported 23 cases total since March 10, and the death brings the total number of fatalities in sub-Saharan Africa to three, following those announced in Burkina Faso and Gabon this week.

 urundians wash their hands as a preventive measure against the 19 coronavirus on their arrival of their repatriation in atumba on the border with the  ongo Burundians wash their hands as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, on their arrival of their repatriation in Gatumba, on the border with the DR Congo

 

The health minister confirmed the fatality, which occurred Friday, along with the new cases.

"All are Congolese. Our teams are taking care of them," Eteni Longondo said on Twitter Saturday.

Though Congolese authorities did not offer information about the deceased patient, local media said he is a close relative of an unnamed minister who has herself tested positive.

"I am a doctor before I am a minister. I care about the confidentiality of the sick, I cannot confirm today that any member of the government or anyone is sick," Longondo told UN radio station Okapi on Friday.

Local media have reported that several ministers have been tested for COVID-19 in the country, though Justice Minister Celestin Tunda Ya Kasende said in a statement on Friday that he was not ill with the virus.

On Friday, the Congolese authorities also fleshed out preventative measures, especially in the capital Kinshasa, home to at least 10 million people where cases have so far been concentrated.

The streets of the normally bustling city were calm Friday, after schools, bars, restaurants and places of worship were closed, while officials said they would limit the number of people on public transport.


___________________________________


2:36pm  |  'It is important we appreciate God'


 

Among those attending the national prayers at Entebbe are Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine.

Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng and foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa are around.

Catholic and Anglican archbishops Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Stephen Kaziimba are in attendance, as is Deputy Inspector General of Police Sabiiti Muzeeyi.

The Muslim fraternity is also represented.

"While we are in tough times, it is important that we appreciate God as we have not yet got a single case of the coronavirus," says Finance State Minister David Bahati, who is guiding today's programme.

As they await President Yoweri Museveni to arrive for the prayers, Bahati asks the small group of congregants to rise to sing a series of hymns.

 

___________________________________


2:25pm  |  Museveni's directives to keep coronavirus at bay

On Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni delivered an address on the coronavirus pandemic.

In his delivery, aired on national television stations and radios, the President underlined key measures to be undertaken by the country to keep the this deadly new strain of coronavirus at bay.

One of the measures was to close all schools and institutions for a month, a directive that took effect on Friday.

"Wedding-style" weddings, sporting activities and entertainment concerts were also prohibited for the coming weeks.

(As it happened | Museveni address on coronavirus)

 

___________________________________


2:07pm  |  Prayer theme - Forgive the sins of your people'

The theme for today's national prayer session is an extraction from the second book of Chronicles 6:27.

"Hear from Heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people."

 

___________________________________


1:55pm  |  Coronavirus: The nation comes as one in prayer

Good afternoon to you who is reading this. Welcome to this live text commentary of today's national prayers that are being hosted by President Yoweri Museveni at the State House in Entebbe in the wake of the Novel coronavirus that has continued to leave its footprint in many a country.

I am glad to tell you that Uganda has no confirmed case of the virus yet, as authorities continue with efforts to keep it out of our borders.

While we don't have a case here, it is important to remember all those that have been affected by the pandemic -either directly or indirectly - in different parts of the world. Spare a thought for the families and friends of the thousands of people that have lost their lives to the disease, which has no cure thus far.

I will try my best to give updates from the prayers at Entebbe. I should also remind you that it is only a select group of clergy that have been invited to attend the prayers.

No crowds, remember!



ALSO RELATED TO THIS ARTICLE


As it happened | Museveni address on coronavirus

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author