Owing to the surge in Covid 19 cases and registration of more deaths in Uganda, Kalangala Infrastructure Services Limited (KIS) a company charged with running two ferries and distribution of electricity and clean, safe water in Kalangala district, has ordered for a mandatory Covid 19 testing by all its staff both in Kampala and those on the island.
According to a statement issued by the company managing director John Opondo on Wednesday, all staff working on the ferries and those at the power plant in Kalangala district, are to be undertaken through screening and testing today (Thursday).
“Although there is no information at this stage to suggest infections within the company, we have put in place measures to manage any outcome of the exercise to make sure our services continue uninterrupted,” read in part the statement by Opondo, urging the general public to continue observing the ministry of health Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Kalangala, being a border district has previously suffered strict measures from the government, including restricted movements within the area on top of accommodating covid19 suspects from Tanzania in the area quarantine centres situated at Bishop Dunstan Memorial Secondary School in Kalangala town.
Some of the company staff, despite the fact that they interface with the society on ferries and while in operations renders them vulnerable to infection, even when none of them has been found infected. It is upon such background that mandatory testing was requisite, according to the company Managing Director John Opondo.
This, among other issues, prompted KIS to handover relief and Personal Protective Equipments(PPEs) worth Sh37m to the district Covid19 task-force recently.
The company also engaged in the prompt and immediate sanitization of the marine vessels, reducing number of passengers to a required number, guided by the Ministry of Health and the set standards
While handing over PPEs and relief items, Joseph Mulindwa the KIS marketing and public relations officer challenged leaders in the district to sensitise communities on the proper use of masks and equipment which were distributed.
On behalf of the district taskforce, Daniel Kikoola the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) lauded KIS for standing up with the island residents especially in times of need. He also warned local leaders against forging medical cases so as to enable ‘their’ people to fault SOPs.
KIS is a Utility company under Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the government owns 46% of the total shares, with efforts aimed at developing infrastructure on the island with the key aim of attracting investments, boosting businesses, and improving livelihoods.
As an electricity utility company, KIS is licensed to generate, transmit and supply electricity to people on Buggala, the main island in Kalangala district, as well as providing free ferry services between Luku and Bukakata docking piers.
With about 80 employees, all of whom are to undergo Covid19 testing today, KIS is also mandated to distribute tap water on the island.
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