By Leilah Bbaale
Kabale District Covid-19 taskforce has directed all Kabale based radio station to change the format of death announcements.
In a letter released on Friday evening dated 18th this month and signed by Darius Nandiinda, Kabale Resident District Commissioner addressed to all Kabale based radio stations, Nandinda orders that all death announcements must not bear dates and time of when burial will take place.
Nandinda says that the task force sat and realized that the death announcements that include death and time are continuing to attract many mourners yet, it violates Covid-19 presidential directives of 20.
He says that informing the public about dates of burial through reading death announcements makes people get information and gather in big numbers yet the burial is supposed to be scientific.
As a result, such gatherings escalate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Elly Maate, Police Spokesperson for the Kigezi region says that there is no reason for radio stations to mention dates and time of burial on radios during such situation days.
Maate says that changing the format of death announcements by not mentioning date and time will make people remain at home and only send condolences rather than converging.
Maate says that this can be successful if affected families and religious leaders also follow and start burying the dead in the morning hours before people are prepared to converge.
Andrew Amanya, Station Manager of Hope Radio Kabale says that he has no objection with the order since it is not issued in a bad faith. But Barnabas Tugumisirize, Station Manager of Freedom radio says that the order is unfair because it infringes on the rights to give the public accurate and detailed information.
Tugumisirize says that it is also irrelevant to force people to announce their dead in the wrong format yet they are informing their friends and relatives. He says that it is instead the role of the task force to fully educate the public against the dangers of gathering.
Kabale district has so far suffered14 COVID-19 deaths since last Saturday. The district has had 592 COVID-19 patients recorded since the start of this month. Among them are 20 health workers. According to Alfred Beesigensi, Kabale District Health Officer, 78 patients are admitted at Kabale regional referral hospital while 514 are under homecare management. Besigensi says that affected health workers are not in bad condition.