Virus Lab Staff Goes On Strike In Uganda Over Non-payment Of Allowance

A medical laboratory team in Uganda tasked with conducting coronavirus tests started a strike over non-payment of their risk allowance for three months, local media reported on Monday.

According to the Daily Monitor website, one of the laboratory staff at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital said they had not been paid in line with the Health Ministry’s guidelines.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the chairman of Gulu District, said they have been in talks with the hospital administration to have the matter resolved.

“The hospital received Shs270m [$72,589] from the Ministry of Health plus the guidelines on how the money should be used and when issues of laying down tools start to come up, it means the budget has been exhausted and it has been a while since they sent money to the hospitals,” Ojara was quoted as saying.

So far, the hospital have discharged some 93 COVID-19 patients after they fully recovered, according to the report.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The US, Brazil and Russia are currently the hardest-hit countries.

The pandemic has killed more than 535,100 people worldwide, with infections surpassing 11.49 million and recoveries over 6.21 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uganda reached 953 with no deaths recorded so far.

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