Half of the journalists who were covering the Uganda Parliament will be allowed to continue doing so due to COVID-19. About 30 journalists down from 60 were parliamentary reporters.
As a measure of observing the Parliament standard operating procedures -SOPs to guard against COVID-19, Parliament had last month reduced the total number of journalists covering the institution to 60 from the accredited over 200.
The reduction also means that only 20 media houses of the over 50 hitherto covering Parliament events will be able to continue.
Now, a new move to further regulate the number of journalists entering Parliament has seen the number go down to only 30 Journalists, a move which has left those left out frustrated despite explanations from the Parliaments Communications and Public Affairs -CPA Department.
According to a statement issued by Hellen Kawesa, the CPA Assistant Director, only journalists on the list will be allowed in. She says this will be so until further notice.
“Media houses with more than two persons listed are requested to ensure that only two reporters from the same media house are at Parliament at any time,” Kawesa says.
Journalists have also been prohibited from hanging around the foyer and the corridors of Parliament. Parliament will be closed for the next two weeks in order to curb the rampant spread of COVID-19.
Although social media has been awash with information that several MPs and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 virus, Parliament said of all the 500 MPs tested for the different events, only 14 tested positive and where out of danger.
Journalists will have to carry sanitizer with them whenever they are entering and around Parliament.
Parliament is expected to enhance their coverage of live events and also ensure real time presentation of events at Parliament to the journalists who are not in its precincts.