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David Bahati

COVID-19: Gov’t Financially Constrained to do Countrywide Mass Testing, Says Bahati

posted onSeptember 24, 2020
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Government has limited capacity in terms of finances to conduct countywide mass testing of COVID-19, the Minister of State for Planning, David Bahati has said.

Bahati told Parliament that whereas it is in the best interest of government that every citizen is tested for COVID-19, the resource envelope is withering. The Minister was tasked by Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal to explain why government is not conducting mass testing for all Ugandans following the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Government must come up with a cheap option of mass testing of Covid-19. It would be proper for each of us to walk to the nearest health facility to get tested rather than just sampling,” Ogwal said.

In his response, Bahati said that whereas the matter is currenty being handled by National Task Force on COVID, the exercise requires so many resources which aren’t available at the moment.

“Mass testing requires a lot of resources such as the reagents and kits. The availability of these test kits is an issue. At the moment, we continue to do what we can to do the testing, but to say we are going to test every Ugandan, this is something which isn’t possible at the moment. We need resources to be available in terms of finances, we can’t get all the required kits,” Bahati said.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked Minister Bahati to ask the members of the National Taskforce not to limit their activities and decisions within Kamapla but move to other parts of the country and see how the Standard Operating Procedures are being carried out upcountry.

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