Gulu District COVID -19 Taskforce Abandons Physical Meetings After UCC Donation of Tablets

Ezekiel Emitu, Aswa Region Police Commander addressing the Gulu District Coronavirus taskforce.

Jesse Johnson James

Gulu District COVID -19 Taskforce has abandoned its weekly physical Taskforce meetings after a donation of 10 tablets from telecom regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

Maj. Santos Okot Lapolo, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner who chairs the COVID -19 Taskforce meetings told our reporter that the switch to virtual meetings is meant to minimize the risks of Taskforce members getting infected with the virus.

“This is the first district in the whole country to move away from physical contacts during meetings because of the intervention of UCC,” said Lapolo

In early June, Gulu District Chairman Martin Ojara Mapenduzi and Justine Obol Simpleman, the LC5 Councillor for Laroo Division, all members of the district Covid-19 Taskforce, were quarantined after getting in contact with a senior official from the Ministry of Health who later tested positive.

According to Lapolo, the tablets shall not only be used for holding virtual Taskforce meetings but also for data collection and analysis and easy trucking of suspected contacts in the community.

“This is going to enhance our fight in terms of data collection and analysis, second, it will enhance our ability to process and quickly provide reports for action at strategic levels.”

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu District Chairman who also doubles as the Spokesperson for the Taskforce said holding virtual meeting will be so ideal for members who might have tight schedules in their respective officers but are also vital to the Taskforce.

“The experts have clearly indicated that the best way right now to conduct meeting is not to crowd, you can be in your sitting room and still hold meetings, so that is the way to go,’’ Mapenduzi said.

According to Mapenduzi, the tablets from UCC shall be given to the heads of the subcommittees of the Taskforce like risk communication, case management and surveillance, among others.

George Ankunda, the Regional Manager Uganda Communications Commission revealed that along with the 10 tablets, UCC also donated a set of desktop computers for the administrator to schedule for the online meetings.

Mr Ankunda put the value of donated equipment donated by UCC to the Gulu District Covid-19 Task Force at f25 million.