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Pastor Arrested for Holding Rally after Testing Positive for COVID-19

Edulu had been placed under home-based care management which required him to remain in quarantine at home for at least 14 days while receiving treatment. But Edulu is reported to have ignored the health restrictions and decided to openly preach in the city centre, at a rally that had brought crowds in one place.
Medics at Soroti RRH prepare to evacuate patients from the ambulance at the Isolation center.

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Francis Edulu, a pastor from Abaango Village in Soroti district has been intercepted by security officers after he was found preaching in public after testing positive for COVID-19.

Edulu had been placed under home-based care management which required him to remain in quarantine at home for at least 14 days while receiving treatment. But Edulu is reported to have ignored the health restrictions and decided to openly preach in the city centre, at a rally that had brought crowds in one place.

However, his gospel was cut short when he openly declared to the residents of Obule trading centre that he is COVID-19 positive who had been recommended for home-based care but was walking and operating normally by the Grace of God. This prompted residents to call the Resident District Commissioner, Patrick Okumu who led the evacuation of the pastor to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital.

While interacting with the medics at the hospital, Edulu said it was not in his interest to spread the virus but was compelled by the holy spirit to preach the good news to the community. He said that he had a mask and had also asked his aides to wear masks.

“At Obule trading centre, people were playing games, watching movies and partying without any adherence to COVID-19 standard operating procedures. While preaching, I urged them to wear masks and keep a distance from each other because this virus is deadly. Their way of life prompted me to reveal my status to them”, he said.

The RDC said that the pastor’s conduct is an isolated case among several people recommended for home-based care management. He explained that all COVID-19 patients under home-based care need to test again and should be found negative before they resume their social life.

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Meanwhile, the police in Soroti arrested 16 people at Thunder Pub on Sunday night after they were found drinking and partying at night. The arrest comes amidst growing laxity among the community members even as COVID-19 infections continue to surge.

Most of the bars, clubs and discotheques in Soroti city have been fully operational even when government didn’t lift the ban on their operations.

Oscar Ageca, the Police Spokesman for East Kyoga Region says the police heightened night patrols last week after a surge in the COVID-19 infections. At Obule trading centre, the police had to openly chase away revelers at night.