Panic as Uganda confirms first COVID-19 Death

Posted: 2020-07-23T15:39:44Z
Panic as Uganda confirms first COVID-19 Death

Uganda has Thursday registered her first confirmed COVID-19 death. The deceased is a 34 year old Ugandan female, resident of Namisindwa district. 

According to Dr Henry Mwebesa the Director General Health Services, the deceased presented with COVID like signs and symptoms; fever, dry cough, headache and difficulty in breathing.

The development was announced by Dr Mwebesa at a Press conference on Thursday. Reports indicate that the deceased was initially admitted to Wasungui HC II on Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 and treated for severe pneumonia. However, on Monday, 20th July, 2020, she was transferred to Joy Hospice health facility, in Mbale District, where she was isolated in the female ward.

While in isolation, the patient’s condition deteriorated with difficulty in breathing, cough, chills and headache. Unfortunately, she passed on Tuesday 21st July, 2020 at 2:00am and was buried on 23rd July 2020 as per Safe Dignified Burial procedures. 

“In our earlier report we had indicated that the deceased was not a Ugandan. Further investigations have since established that she was a Ugandan from Manafwa, Bubulo East, Namabya- Namunyali- Sisongofwa” Dr Mwebesa said.

He added that the postmortem samples from the deceased were confirmed positive for SARS-COV-2 by 4 laboratories: UVRI, CPHL, Tororo and Makerere. In addition, findings at postmortem showed features of acute pneumonia; findings that are consistent with COVID-19 infection.

The Namasindwa District Task Force has now been reactivated to coordinate the district response. So far, thirty (30) contacts to the deceased have been listed and placed under quarantine by the health authorities in Namisindwa (n=18) and Mbale (n=12) districts.

The listed contacts so far include family members, and healthcare workers. According to Dr Mwebesa, the process of contact identification and listing is still ongoing, and there is a possibility that the number of contacts may increase as the extensive epidemiological investigation evolves.

“The contacts will be monitored daily for fourteen (14) days as per our protocol by district surveillance teams supported by Ministry of Health experts who will be deployed in the district per our protocol, the contacts are only retired from the contact list after testing negative for COVID-19 after the mandatory 14-day follow up.