Uganda has announced that as of Tuesday 24th March 2020, Uganda has 9 confirmed cases of COVID19. The first case was of a 36 year old man who traveled from Dubai on Saturday morning and tested positive to the disease.
Now, all the 8 new cases travelled in from Dubai with two coming in on 20th, while 6 others came through on Sunday March 23rd 2020.
“All the 8 cases are Ugandan nationals who travelled back from Dubai, UAE.; 2 on the 20/03/2020 & 6 on the 22/03/2020 aboard the Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines flights” Minister Aceng noted.
The country is however panicking after learning that only 2 of the confirmed cases are in quarantine, while the six are in the air.
Minister Jane Ruth Aceng says that the 6 cases were intercepted at the airport on Sunday, while the other two were picked from quarantine after they all presented with fever.
Samples of 35 people were taken and only 8 tested positive. All these were flown into the country by Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates. According to the minister, many people who traveled from Dubai in the recent weeks were not intercepted at the airport, because Dubai was not on the high risk countries.
However, the minister says there could have been withholding of information, as all Ugandan cases have come from Dubai.
The ministry says they have all passenger manifests and urged all travelers that came from Dubai, to call the ministry of health help lines desk on 0800-100-066 or 0800-203-033 for further follow-up.and get tested. She added that they are still withholding passports of all individuals.
Meanwhile, samples have also been taken from 6 Chinese Nationals who were intercepted in Zombo have been taken and results will be received on Tuesday, after which, they will be taken to court.
According to the State Minister for Primary Healthcare Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the Chinese Nationals had escaped quarantine from Kampala and will have to face the law.
Ugandans have been asked to keep a 4 meters distance and continue washing hands, avoid handshakes, hugs and crowds.
To date, a total of 2,661 travelers including Ugandans identified as potential risk have been either under self-quarantine or institutional quarantine. Of these, 1,356 are under follow up; 774 of these are under institutional quarantine while 582 are under self-quarantine. A friend who flew in on Sunday morning tells me that they are being quarantined at a hotel in Entebbe with all expenses paid for by government. “We are only allowed access to the balcony. Food is also brought to our rooms. Someone knocks and hands it over, and leaves. They also take our temperatures and don’t allow us to speak to one another. Our rooms are locked” he told me.
The minister says Uganda has enough equipment to handle all the cases and that more help will be coming from WHO in any case it is needed at a given point. Also, Entebbe International Airport remains on lock down instituted by President Yoweri Museveni starting midnight on Sunday.
The prime British minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday evening, warning that people will only be allowed outside to buy food or medication, exercise alone once a day, or to travel to work if absolutely necessary. All non-essential shops will close with immediate effect, as will playgrounds and libraries, he said in the address from Downing Street.
On Monday, Panama also announced that deaths from the virus increased to five, including a 13-year-old girl. Confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 313 over the weekend in the region’s economic and transportation hub.
In New York, the death toll is approaching 100, with the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the city on Monday reaching 12,339 with 99 deaths.
In France, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has revealed that country’s lockdown could last several more weeks, with new restrictions, including limits on daily exercise outside the home now in place.
Italy which is currently the most hit country, has registered 5,476 deaths, while cases stand at 59,138.
In China where the virus was first reported, the country is returning to normal after the last hospital treating COVID19 closed on Monday as they no longer had serious cases. China has since donated their technology and physicians to Europe where they are lending a hand.
While Uganda has not registered any fatalities, citizens remain on tension since many people that traveled from Dubai are unknown and continue to communities without any checkup. This means many more cases could be registered as this comes to light.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.
The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.