Judith Nabakooba, Ugandan Minister of Information, Communications, Technology and National Guidance

A top government official on Sunday said Uganda has banned all public New Year Eve festivities over surging COVID-19 infections in the country.

Judith Nabakooba, Minister of Information, Communications, Technology and National Guidance, said this in a statement issued in Kampala.

Nabakooba added that all music concerts, overnight prayers and fireworks displays have been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.

“This gathering and funfair increase the risk of spreading COVID-19,” said Nabakooba.

“Police will not give any permission for fireworks this time. Fireworks are usually accompanied by people staying up late and gathering people around a particular place,” she said.

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The minister urged the public to stay home and welcome the New Year with family members.

As of Saturday, Uganda had registered 33,563 COVID-19 cases, 11,055 recoveries and 245 deaths since the index case was recorded on March 21, according to the Ministry of Health.