Coronavirus: Health ministry to screen guests at archbishop enthronement

Friday February 28 2020

Outgoing Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley

Outgoing Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali (left) with the Archbishop-elect Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu wave to Christians at Namirembe Hill after a thanksgiving at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala on February 26, 2020. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 


As part of the safety measures against the dreaded coronavirus, all those planning on attending the enthronement of the new Archbishop this Sunday will have to go through screening.

The Most Rev Dr Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu was elected on August 28, 2019, to replace the most Rev Stanley Ntagali as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda.

Over 1,500 guests are expected to turn up for the function due to take place at the Saint Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe.

While addressing the media on Friday at the Uganda Media centre, the health minister, Dr Ruth Jane Aceng, said the screening exercise will be carried out at all national mass gatherings.

“This one is a national function and the Ministry of Health has prepared adequately, everyone who is going for this enthronement will undergo screening and there are hand sanitisers available for everyone. We shall also be distributing leaflets on the do’s and don’ts and we shall have a health personnel take people through them as they arrive and other national gatherings, Ministry of Health will do the same,” Dr Aceng.

Coronavirus outbreak has now spread to all continents and over 47 countries are affected. In Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria have reported cases.


Dr Aceng said the possibility of spread to other African countries, Uganda inclusive is extremely high.

Nigeria on Friday announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP), an international news agency.

“The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan earlier this week,” Nigeria health minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on twitter.

However, Dr Aceng, said that for some of the mass gatherings, the public will be educated on the dos and don’ts since government cannot be available at all of them.

“You are aware there are so many other gatherings, people gather for weddings, burials and many other things we inform them accordingly as to what should be taken, we cannot be available in all these places but when we empower you with information then we also expect you to share the same information with them,” Dr Aceng said.

Government has also called upon organisers of mass gatherings to ensure that hand washing facilities or alcohol based hand sanitisers and temperature screening materials are available at venue entry points.

To date 695 travellers, Chinese, Ugandans and others have been isolated for purposes of follow up. Of these, 488 are Chinese nationals, 64 other nationals while 143 are Ugandan citizens. 280 individuals have completed 14 days of self-isolation.