By Goodluck Musinguzi
Rev Fr Charles Idraku, Director of Radio Pacis based in Arua District West Nile has announced that five of their staff members have tested positive for coronavirus pandemic.
His announcement comes barely less than 24 hours when Newvision and NTV employees were announced to have tested positive.
“We took measures of safety since the beginning of the outbreak in Uganda. We consistently shared information about the pandemic and best practices to our audiences. On friday,14th August we invited Ministry of Health to test our entire staff at the Arua Diocese Media Center”, Idraku said.
He said after the results came out the Radio is fully cooperating with the Ministry of Health for the best care. The Journalists who turned out positive for coronavirus have been informed and they have been taken for treatment and isolation.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, Senior Public Relations Officer Ministry of Health appealed to media practitioners to observe Standard Operating Procedures when duty.
“Dear Journalists , Please take caution and observe SOPs, the level of complacency among those covering the various activities or events is very high. It is unfortunate the two media houses have since registered COVID-19 cases”, Ainebyoona said.
Robert Kabushenga, Chief Executive Officer Vision Group said a staff at the company had tested positive for COVID-19. Reality has arrived .
“One of our staff working at the head office in Kampala tested positive over the weekend and the case is being handled together with and under the guidance of the Ministry of Health”, Kabushenga said.
Dozens of journalists have died worldwide from the novel coronavirus in the past two months, a press freedom organization said, lamenting that media workers often lack proper protection for covering the pandemic.
“Journalists are at great risk in this health crisis because they must continue to inform, by going to hospitals, interviewing doctors, nurses, political leaders, specialists, scientists, patients,” PEC said in a statement.
The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) warned that many journalists were putting themselves in harm’s way to report on the global crisis, with many falling ill from COVID-19 themselves in the process.
Since March 1, the PEC said it had recorded the deaths of 55 media workers across 23 countries from the virus, although it stressed that it remained unclear if all of them had become infected on the job.