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COVID-19: Ministry of Health wants Tumbiza song banned

A screen grab of the Tumbiza song

A screen grab of the Tumbiza song

The ministry of Health has asked the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to ban the broadcast of a popular song, Tumbiza Sound by Eric Opoka aka EeZzy.

In a letter addressed to the executive director of UCC, Irene Sewankambo, the ministry says the song be banned because it misinforms the public about COVID-19.

The song paints the picture that while some people are still in the lockdown, in other parts of the country life is back to normal because people have stopped adhering to the guidelines. In the song, Opoka promotes the idea of bars reopening and that revellers will use sanitizers, wear face masks and will social distance while in the bars to protect themselves.

The song further claims that partygoers are no longer scared of COVID-19 and in any case, the police is not there to enforce the standard operating guidelines because they have allies therein. 

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director-general of health services says that they want the song to be banned because it promotes complacency among members of the public.

"It has been noted with concern that there is a song being broadcasted on electronic and social media with messages contradicting the ministry of Health standard operating procedures on COVID-19. The message in the song has, in turn, caused misinformation among different audiences and subsequently creating complacency among the public," Mwebesa said.

The ministry now wants the song banned on all electronic and social media sites such as Youtube. The song which was released in September this year has over nearly 600,000 views on YouTube and more than 1,000 comments.

The ministry’s move to have the song banned comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is increasing. To date, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at over 30,000 with more than 230 deaths. 

A few days ago, the permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine and the minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng started a campaign asking people in towns not to travel to villages to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This week, doctors under the Uganda Medical Association have since re-echoed their message and have gone as far as asking the government to institute another lockdown to curb further spread of the virus. 

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd