The Democratic Party (DP) has advised Government to allow places of worship accommodate half capacity as opposed to the 200 number of congregants allowed by Government in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
While addressing the nation on COVID-19 last Wednesday, President Museveni relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and allowed re-opening of places of worship after months of closure.
The President, however, ordered that they must accommodate a maximum of 200 worshipers irrespective of the size of the building.
In a weekly media briefing, the DP spokesperson, Okoler Opio Lo Amanu told reporters at Party headquarters in Kampala that while his Party welcomed re-opening of places worship, he said buildings cannot be given a standard figure of congregants without considering their size.
“We welcomed the idea of opening up worship centres. However, we believe and strongly so that this was done unreasonably. You cannot give a standard figure of congregants without considering the capacity of the worship centres,” he said.
He suggested that places of worship should accommodate half capacity, the way it was done on transport.
“Let the worship centres be allowed to host half the seating capacity of the congregants in the same manner it was done in public transport. It is unreasonable to grant the Church whose seating capacity is 4000 people permission to host 200 worshipers in the same manner as that with a seating capacity of 50 people. The latter will be full with congestion which does not allow the observation of Standard Operating Procedures but still in consonance with the law,” said Okoler.
“Education institutions needed not to wait any longer to be opened, and yet Sports betting centers are open. This would attract our children into sports betting which is addictive,” said Okoler.
In his Wednesday COVID-19 address to nation, Museveni ordered post secondary education institutions such as Universities, Technical Colleges, Teachers’ Colleges to reopen in November 2021, while schools will reopen in January 2022.
Registration of All Private Schools
On September 21, 2021, the Ministry of Education and Sports announced that it was going to conduct fresh registration of all private schools.
This, the Ministry said, was aimed to weed out schools that have closed, schools that have been grant aided, schools that had entered twice in the system among others.
The registration exercise will be carried out before schools reopen.
Okoler said Government should give a longer period for the schools to register in preparation of opening.
“It should not be compulsory for schools to register before opening as this will allow enough time for the proprietors to prepare their institutions adequately for better service delivery,” he said.