Rukungiri – Authorities in Rukungiri district have ordered the closure of the district headquarters to allow for fumigation.
The development follows the confirmation of one staff member as positive for COVID-19.
The situation has been made worse by the increased threat as cases soar in the neighbouring districts, putting the district civil servants at risk since they interact with the community.
Dan Kaguta, the Rukungiri Resident District Commissioner (RDC), noted that the closure of the offices started on Tuesday and will run for a week as district staff undergoes the mandatory COVID-19 testing.
“We took a decision to close down the district headquarters for some days so that we fumigate. We have left a skeletal staff of departmental heads to remain at work.
This will help us establish whether we are still safe or if we have a case, other than waiting to have a patient then we start panicking,” Kaguta said.
He says this will reinforce the earlier instructions for all staff to work from home, except heads of departments and selected support staff.
The RDC ordered district health officers to keep very few staff who would help the experts in fumigation.
He said the Chief Administrative Officer’s secretary and clerk to the council as well as security at the gate and cleaners should be among the staff to remain at the office.
On easing the COVID-19 restrictions as released by health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, allowing 200 people to attend gatherings like prayers, political rallies, meetings, and weddings, plus opening of markets, Kaguta says he has not received official communication from the Government.
However, the terms the idea as suicidal, following the increased cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The chief administrative officer, Elias Byamungu, said the temporary closure of the offices will not affect performance at all.
“Life is bigger than anything else. We are doing this for the good of our workers and even our community. We will have mandatory tests so that whoever is found positive can be taken for treatment,” he said.
He said the majority of the staff will be expected to work from home.
Joseph Beyanga, a pensioner, said he came from Bwambara, about 40km away, to check on the person in charge of salaries, only to find a note that the offices were closed.