Uganda reopens worship places to further ease COVID-19 restrictions

KAMPALA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) — Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday ordered the reopening of worship centers as the country continues to register a decline in new COVID-19 cases.

Museveni in a televised address on the update of the COVID-19 situation in the East African country said places of worship can reopen as long as they keep a maximum quota of 200 people and strictly adhere to the prevention measures including social distancing, face mask wearing and sanitization.

Places of worship were closed in early June as the country faced the second wave of the pandemic.

The president directed that entertainment centers like bars, discotheques, musical shows remain closed as they tend to congregate large numbers of people and are difficult to control.

“With the level of vaccination still low, I direct that these remain closed until at least the 4.8 million priority population is vaccinated,” the president said.

He said the country aims to finish vaccinating the priority population by the year end. The people in the priority groups include health workers, teachers, security personnel, elderly people aged 50 and above, people with comorbidities and 330,000 students in post-secondary institutions.

As of Wednesday, over 1.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered since the vaccination exercise started in March this year, according to the Ministry of Health data.

The country aims at vaccinating about 22 million people, or nearly half of the population as a measure to keep the pandemic at bay.

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