KCCA Acting Spokesperson Daniel Nuwe Abine says testing at KCCA is continuing at no cost despite government introducing the Shillings 240,500 charge.
KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka taking the COVID 19 Test. KCCA Internet Photo
Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is saved from
paying over 272 million Shillings to test staff for COVID-19, thanks to free
testing that will continue at City Hall.
With a staff population of about 1,133, the City
Authority would have to part with at least 272 million Shillingsto have its
people tested at a high Shillings 240,500 per test.
KCCA Acting Spokesperson Daniel NuweAbine says
testing at KCCA is continuing at no cost despite government introducing the Shillings
Last week on Monday, the Ministry of Health said starting 1st September
2020, truck drivers, people in need of knowing their COVID-19 status,
government and public organisations, Ugandans returning from abroad, and
visitors from other countries will all be have to pay a fee of 240,500
Shillings for each test to be conducted.
Ministry said the charge would
reduce the costs incurred by government in conducting the tests as many organisations
continue to request the ministry to test their staff amidst inadequate stocks of test kits, resource constraints and high cost of testing.
The ministry says 4000
tests equivalent to 962 million Shillings are carried out daily.
According to the Ministry, the fee is a cost recovery mechanism that will
enable it acquire more test kits for continued access to testing services in
The move to charge for
testing was immediately condemned by City Executive Committee led by the Lord
Mayor Erias Lukwago who said apart from ordinary Kampala people, the authority could
not afford paying for all its staff to test. He said the authority had run out
of funds having exhausted the one billion shillings allocated for the Authority
as part of COVID 19 fight budget.
But now, Nuwe Abine says government identified the
authority as a hot stop that needed its staff tested because of their nature of
work and testing shall continue at no charge. The authority tasked with running
affairs of the city employs among others, casual workers like cleaners and law
enforcement officers who often interact with people on the streets, putting
them in harm’s way of the Corona Virus.
Testing at City Hall started in June 2020 after four
cases were registered. The number has grown with new cases registered everyday.
Since the virus invaded the country in March 2020, a total of 3,037 cases
have been registered, with Kampala, registering the highest
number among all districts. A total of 32 death have been registered in Uganda.