National News

Uganda confirms 18 Covid-19 cases rise to 507

Uganda on Wednesday said 18 more people had tested positive for Covid-19 as the country’s tally of confirmed cases rose to 507.
Four of the new cases are truck drivers who arrived from South Sudan via Elegu while two cases are from Malaba.
The Ministry of Health said 12 cases are alerts and contacts to previously confirmed cases.

Of these, eight are from Amuru, three are from Buikwe District and one is from Kyotera District.
Relatedly, 21 positive foreign truck drivers (13 Kenyans, 3 Tanzanians, 4 Eritreans and 1 Congolese) were handed to their country of origin.
So far, 82 people who previously tested positive for the virus have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals across the country.

Meanwhile, there was panic in Buikwe District when results of the three cases came out. All the three confirmed cases are samples taken from vendors at Najjembe market in Najjembe division, Lugazi municipality in Buikwe District.
Dr Richard Bbosa, the Buikwe District health officer said the ministry informed them about the positive cases at Najjembe market where they conducted mass testing.
“We have got information from the ministry of health that three people from Najjembe have tested positive. As a district, we have 18 positive cases now which means the disease is increasing in our district. We are now looking for their contacts so that we can quarantine them,” Dr Bbosa said.
Dr Bbosa said the district health team lacks enough funds and equipment to conduct testing and monitoring of quarantined cases.

Ms Jane Francis Kagayi, the Resident district commissioner of Buikwe district said that she will be forced to close the markets if the cases persist in the district.
“Covid-19 cases have increased in our district and if the cases in the markets rise further, we shall close them so that we can save our people from contracting Covid-19. I urge all members to practice social distancing especially those in the market. Some vendors even enter the trailers while selling their products,” Ms Kagayi said.
Mr Mutwalibu Lukyamuzi, the councillor of Najjembe division said that there should be measures put at the truck drivers and all those who buy food stuffs at the market to avoid more cases.
“We believe the truck drivers who always buy food at the market could have infected our people. As I talk now, there is panic amongst our people because those who tested positive got in contact with very many people, we need to do something.” Mr. Mutwalibu said.

Mr Muzamir Kyezimbira, the chairman of Najjembe market said it has over 400 vendors working in it and that they are now worried after registering positive cases.
“We are working on the measures like reducing the number of people working in the market. We have put demarcations and also stopped vendors from getting close to those who are buying. We believe that those who tested positive got the disease from drivers of small cars because trucks were banned from stopping at Najjembe market,” Mr Kyezimbira said.

Najjembe Market in Mabira forest on Kampala-Jinja road in lugazi municipality is known of its roasted delicious chicken where travelers enjoy so much.

Local coronavirus infections worry Health Workers

More than 100 Ugandans have so far been infected with coronavirus through contact with interstate truck drivers or other confirmed cases, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

The increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections is putting a dent on Uganda’s effort to combat the pandemic.

Health officials and the medical fraternity are worried that the rapid increase in the number of cases and their contacts could overwhelm the hospitals thus causing difficulty in management of cases.

Out of the 40 new Covid-19 cases confirmed on June 1, at least 23 cases are samples tested from points of entry, whereas 17 are from the contacts.

Uganda has so far registered a total of 507 cases of which more than 50 are contacts of truck drivers while the rest are community infections.

Dr Ayella Ataro, the vice president Uganda medical association, said the increase in the number of cases is worrying and points a big challenge for the country.

“We could overwhelm the treatment centres and not be able to care for the patients adequately. Even if we have strong control at the border we may not manage it well,” Dr Ataro said.

He said the biggest challenge still comes from the truck drivers who need to be managed carefully.
“We cannot completely avoid truck drivers from interacting with people because along the way there are vendors selling things,” Dr Ataro added.

Dr Moriku Kaducu, the Minister of State for Primary Healthcare, said the increase in the number of case means more stress of contact identification, follow up as well as strengthening surveillance system.

When Mulago released its first and second lots of patients who had recovered, the hospital executive director, Dr Byarugaba Baterana, was upbeat and asked other countries to send their patients to Mulago for treatment because the hospital had now built capacity.

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