President Museveni is set to declare that wearing of facemasks in public places as a measure to control the spread of Covid is no longer necessary, the Nile Post has learnt.
State House on Wednesday announced that President Museveni will on Friday address the nation on issues pertaining health.
“The Presidential Press Unit – PPU wishes to inform the general public that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda and Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces; Gen. (Rtd) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will on, December 2, 2022, at 8:00pm address the nation on health matters. The address will be live on all radio and TV stations,” the Senior Presidential Press Secretary, Sandor Walusimbi said in a statement on Wednesday.
This website has however learnt that the president earlier this week met the task force on Covid-19 to receive a brief on the status of the disease in the country.
It is from the brief that he will address the nation on Friday and among issues to be addressed is declaration of facemasks as being no longer mandatory in public spheres.
“The Covid task force advised the president that wearing of masks should no longer be mandatory and that testing of Covid should only be for those who intend to travel or where required specifically. The president will address the nation on these issues,” a source privy with the matter told the Nile Post.
The source said testing will no longer be mandatory except for travel to countries where it’s required.
However, when contacted for a comment on the matter, Dr. Monica Musenero, the head of the national Covid task force said she is not aware of anything in that line.
On the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2019, government directed the mandatory wearing of facemasks, especially in public places as one of the ways to help control the spread of the virus.
Government consequently issued a statutory instrument in regards the compulsory wearing of facemasks
“Every person shall at all times, while outside his or her place of residence wear a facial mask,” the instrument issued by Dr.Ruth Aceng, the Health Minister read.
However, while easing the lockdown in May 2020, President Museveni announced compulsory wearing of masks by all those who step out of their homes.
“We are going to make it mandatory for everybody who is not in his/her house to wear a cloth face mask covering all the time; the mouth and the nose,” Museveni said.
The president also pegged the reopening of public transport and allowing of functions bringing together more than one person to wearing of facemasks at all times.
However, as the Covid cases reduced and the number of people vaccinated against the virus went up, government relaxed on the requirement for mandatory mask wearing.
The Health Minister, Dr.Ruth Aceng in April said fully vaccinated individuals would not be required to wear face masks when they are outdoors where there are no crowds.
Whereas in many public places masks, proof of vaccination and Covid test results are no longer mandatory, for functions where President Museveni is expected to attend, Covid testing and wearing of facemasks are still mandatory.
Visitors to State House are also required to present proof of Covid testing.
Museveni has among others been consistent on wearing of facemasks even when he travels abroad.
For example, a photo from the just concluded 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda in June that made rounds on social media, the Ugandan leader was shown as the only one in a facemask as others never minded about the mask.
However, of late, Museveni seems to also have relaxed his stance on mandatory wearing of the mask.
For example while on a three state visit to Southeast Asian country, Vietnam, Museveni was seen in a rare occasion without a mask in his face.