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Acholi Clerics Plead With Public to Observe SOPs As Covid-19 Infections Surge

Acholi District Khadi, Sheikh Musa Khalil pointed out that Uganda is not safe anymore with health centers filled up with COVID-19 patients, insufficient finance to fight the disease and lack of enough oxygen for those in critical condition. He expressed concern about the surging number of cases being registered in schools and the community.
Gulu City Woman MP Betty Aol Ocan during her thanksgiving prayer. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Religious leaders in Acholi under their umbrella the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) have expressed concern over the laxity in the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) amidst the coronavirus surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.

According to the clerics, members of the public have relaxed on wearing masks, sanitizing hands and keeping the recommended social distance to avoid COVID-19 infection. Nelson Onono Onweng, the Chairperson of ARLPI asked members of the Acholi community and Ugandans at large not to underrate the second wave of COVID-19, which is said to be more deadly.

He said the only defence against COVID-19 is adherence to the SOPs but unfortunately very many people are acting to the contrary. Father James Ocan from the Orthodox Church on the other hand described Covid-19 as the greatest human threat, which should not be downplayed or it plunges the world into disarray.   

Acholi District Khadi, Sheikh Musa Khalil pointed out that Uganda is not safe anymore with health centers filled up with COVID-19 patients, insufficient finance to fight the disease and lack of enough oxygen for those in critical condition.  He expressed concern about the surging number of cases being registered in schools and the community. Khalili pleaded with the community to observe SOPs, arguing that it is the only way they can keep away from COVID-19. 


Betty Aol Ocan, the Gulu City Woman Member of Parliament who disclosed that ten beds at the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital-GRRH COVID-19 treatment centre are filled  and half at St Mary`s Lacor Hospital, urged the community to jealously protect their lives. 

//Cue in: ‘’so you can…  

 

Cue out: …our lives jealously.’’//   

Dr. Paska Apiyo, in charge of the COVID-19 treatment centre at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital equally notes with concern the failure by the public in Gulu to follow the SOPs. He says that people are no longer wearing face masks, sanitizing hands and observing social distance. Dr. Apiyo asserts that the centre has been receiving patients with severe disease who mostly end up in the intensive care unit – ICU wards. 

She urged the public to embrace the ongoing vaccination against COVID-19 rolled out by the Ministry of Health.  Uganda has registered a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases with at least 1,000 cases recorded in the last one week.  The country has cumulatively registered 44,594 COVID-19 cases and 361 deaths.  

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