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Health Minister Aceng Responds To Criticism Over Her Social Distancing

Uganda’s Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has responded to criticism that she abandoned social distancing rules while meeting a group f people.

Pictures have been circulating on social media showing the minister appearing to be addressing people with them so close to her, drawing criticism.

However, Aceng says she neither abandoned the social distancing rules put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, nor was she campaigning as alleged.

“My attention is drawn to social media posts of pictures of me meeting crowds with no social distancing and no masks and even alleging that I was holding a political rally.I would like to reiterate that I was not holding a political rally. I was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo Sub county and training people on how to properly use the masks on Friday 10 July 2020,” Aceng says.

Last week, Aceng declaring that she would be contesting for the Lira Municipality MP seat.

BELOW IS HER FULL STATEMENT

My attention is drawn to social media posts of pictures of me meeting crowds with no social distancing and no masks and even alleging that I was holding a political rally.

I would like to reiterate that I was not holding a political rally. I was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo Sub county and training people on how to properly use the masks on Friday 10 July 2020.

However, at the time, village health teams (VHTs) and other youth were also being oriented on the processes for distribution of the Long lasting mosquito net distribution near by.

They got excited when they heard about face masks, and specifically the Minister for health whom they call ‘mama Corona’ and rushed to see me. They were difficult to control as seen in the picture as many wanted to take pictures and also get masks from me.

I took time to educate these youth on the same as well as on the face masks. They left as very knowledgeable people appreciating the importance of face masks and social distancing.

As the Minister who is at the helm of the Corona response and an aspiring Woman MP of Lira District, I am cognizant of the rules and guidelines that we as government have put in place.

I continue to appeal to you all to wear your masks, maintain social distance and wash your hands with soap regularly to prevent COVID19.

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng

Minister for Health

12 July 2020.

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