Uganda starts mass testing MPs for Covid-19

Uganda's Prime Minister Ruhankana Rugunda (C) flanked by ministers, walks next to trucks carrying relief food to be distributed to civilians affected by the lockdown, as part of measures to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus disease, in Kampala, Uganda.
Uganda's Prime Minister Ruhankana Rugunda (C) flanked by ministers, walks next to trucks carrying relief food to be distributed to civilians affected by the lockdown, as part of measures to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus disease, in Kampala, Uganda.
Image: REUTERS/ Abubaker Lubowa

Uganda on Thursday began the mass testing of its 426 legislators and their staff for the new coronavirus, a parliamentary spokesperson said.

Uganda has officially recorded only 1,051 cases and zero deaths since March, but MPs requested the tests due to the nature of their work which involves meeting many people, said the parliament's acting communications chief, Helen Kawesa.

Kawesa denied reports that an MP had been admitted to hospital with the virus, after a lawmaker wrote on Twitter that one of his colleagues was ill.

“The medical screening of MPs for Covid-19 began this morning (Thursday). After the MPs have been screened, the parliamentary staff will be next”, she said.

“Parliament has no information that one MP tested positive for Covid-19 and is in hospital”.

On top of its official cases, Uganda has also tested and refused entry to almost 1,500 positive truck drivers from neighbouring countries.



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