City pastor, followers arrested for defying President Museveni’s directives on gatherings

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Police in Kampala have arrested a pastor and 30 of his followers for allegedly defying presidential directives against religious gatherings in a bid to forestall the spread of coronavirus.

President Museveni recently suspended religious gatherings for at least a month as part of his government’s measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 20,599 people worldwide since it first appeared in China in December.

Pastor Rashid Mutebi of Blessed Feelings Church International located in Gobe, Kajjansi and his followers were picked on Wednesday morning after Police received information about their illegal activities at their Church, according to Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango.

“On interrogation, the Pastor alleges that the Christians came from far and he was still looking for money to transport them to their homes.

The followers were cautioned and released. The Pastor is currently detained at Kajjansi Police station,” Mr Onyango said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general, Health Services told journalists in Kampala that five people had tested positive, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 14.

"Coronavirus is spread through sneezing, coughing or contact with contaminated surfaces. To avoid the disease, wash your hands with soap regularly, don’t spit in public, avoid crowds and stay home if you have flu. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Let’s fight Corona together. This message is from the Ministry of Health"

Two of the confirmed cases are Chinese nationals who travelled from China recently and the rest are Ugandans.

Following the ministry’s appeal to all individuals who travelled from Dubai in the past two weeks to go for testing, a total of 574 individuals have been listed countrywide.

“We have so far screened 60 travellers at Mulago National Specialized Hospital. We further direct all persons who travelled from Dubai in the past 2 weeks to come to Ward 2A at Mulago National Specialized Hospital (New Mulago) for assessment,” Dr Mwebesa said.

To date, a total of 2,661 travellers including Ugandans have been identified. 1,230 are under follow up, 764 are under institutional quarantine, while 466 are under self-quarantine.

At least 1,431 who had been identified as high risk travellers have completed their 14 days of follow up.

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