Namutumba district offices closed as more staff test positive for Covid-19

Namutumba District Authorities have closed all public offices after seven staff at the district headquarters tested positive for Covid-19.

The District Health Officer, Dr James Kirya, on Thursday said the closure, that takes immediate effect, will last for a week.

Dr Kirya broke the news at the burial of the district chairperson, Hajji Saleh Kumbuga, in Bukaba Village, North Ward, Namutumba Town Council.

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According to Dr Kirya, the closure of public offices is to allow for fumigation of the premises, while tracing for contacts of the positive cases who are currently under self-isolation.

Hajji Kumbuga on Wednesday morning succumbed to Covid-19 at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted. He was 63 years old.

A December 16 letter by the deputy Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Benard Opolot, called for a general testing of all staff for Covid-19 to track infection levels among the workforce.

“The district headquarters will temporally be out of bounds to all staff effective Thursday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 22,” Mr Opolot’s letter reads in part.

Mr Opolot added that essential staff will, however, continue to excute their duties from home and online, and also keep their known telephone contacts on for purposes of communication on official matters.

Speaking during a special council sitting to honour the late Kumbuga, the district vice chairperson, Mr John Naloka Mande, said they lack an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients. “There is need for the district to get an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients,” he said.

Hajji Kumbuga was born in Bukaba Village, Namutumba Town Council in Namutamba District to Lakeri Banona and Noah Kwaya Kumbuga, both deceased.

He attended Ganga Primary School in Mbale and Mbale Secondary School for his Ordinary level and Bukonte Secondary School for Advanced level certificates, before joining Busoga University for a Bachelor’s degree in Environment.

His 25-year-old sojourn in politics started in 1995 when he represented Magada Sub-county in the greater district council.

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After Namutumba became a district on July 1, 2006, he contested for the LC5 seat and stated last year that he was not seeking re-election in 2021.

He leaves behind three widows and eight orphans.

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