The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has asked government to reopen all places of worship stating that they are more organized than some of the sectors whose lockdown have been lifted.
“…Places of worship must fully re-open as long as they observe the Covid 19 measures…,” Ssemujju Nganda, the fdc mouthpiece said.
On Friday July 30, President Museveni in his nation address on COVID-19 current situation extended lockdown on places of worship such as churches, Mosques for 60 days while other sectors had their 42 day lockdown partially lifted
The FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, also the Kiira municipality legislator has made the remarks on Monday August 2, during the party weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi Kampala.
He stressed that the recent 42 day lockdown has taught the country that congregating is not the main cause of corona virus spread citing out many good markets that remained operating amid minimum Standards Operation Procedures.
“The recent 42 day lockdown has taught us that congregating per say is not the main reason Corona spread. That is why; it has not wiped out people who operate in markets around Kampala and Wakiso whose observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) remain minimal. The markets remained opened and heavily congested but they didn’t register alarming numbers of infections, hospitalizations and death.” Ssemujju said.
Ssemujju who advised that market places should be used as case studies in the study of how many COVID-19 infections and deaths were registered in each of these markets, called for immediate reopening of places of worship.
“Using the markets as a case study, there should be no reason why Namirembe cathedral, Lubaga, Kibuli or Old Kampala that are organized and admit fewer people, should remain closed. Places of worship must fully re-open as long as they observe the Covid 19 measures,” he said.
“We can even limit them to half their usual congregations.”
Ssemujju opines that the places of worship are not only places for prayers but also traditionally relief coordination centres.
He added that they (places of worship) can be used to mobilize relief support to vulnerable groups given the population trust in religious institutions than in government.
FDC further implored the government to incorporated religious leaders into Covid 19 taskforces from village to the national level to offer counselling to people affected by the pandemic.
They (FDC) argue that churches, mosques and other places of worship should not be a target of closure whenever a new wave of COVID-19 hit.
“The FDC thinks religious institutions cannot be the target of prolonged closures each time we are hit with a new wave. We must exploit their elaborate infrastructure network for relief and counselling purposes,” Ssemujju told journalists.