All staff at the Vision Group in Kampala are to take a compulsory test for COVID-19 on Wednesday after a male journalist working with Bukedde newspaper tested positive for the virus.
According to an internal memo, staff are urged not to panic but cooperate with health workers as they collect samples. The testing will be done in two spells, tomorrow and next week.
Robert Kabushenga, the Vision Group chief executive officer said on Monday that management was tracking all possible contacts of the positive case at the office and promised that they will collaborate with medical workers to facilitate further tests.
He also said they would be disinfecting the premises at different intervals to keep further the infection at bay. On the same day when a Vision Group staff tested positive, another staff at NTV Uganda also tested positive but efforts to reach management for a comment were futile as managers couldn’t pick their calls.
But, other sources at the station said nothing more has happened aside from disinfection. The source said they only received an email urging them to respect the ministry of Health guidelines to put on masks, sanitizing and maintaining a social distance.
According to Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health ministry public relations officer, the process of identifying contacts at both media offices has started but they have advised that as contact listing continues, those that have been in contact with the affected people to go into self- isolation.
“We can’t close a media house. We have designed guidelines to follow for cases that happen in such formal workplaces. As long as they respect the guidelines, there is no need for closing them. Our surveillance team have to first assess them before the closure is recommended.”
So far, a total of seven staff of media houses have tested positive for COVID-19, among them are five staff of Radio Pacis in Arua district.
On Tuesday 43 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed from the 3,905 samples tested on Monday, raising the number of cumulative total cases to 1,603.
32 of the cases were picked from alerts, five from truck drivers, five are contacts from previously confirmed cases and one is a returnee from Kenya. Of the 32 alerts, 16 are from Kampala which has been declared as the country’s coronavirus hotspot.