Government has reported 10 new Covid-19 infections as Uganda’s total confirmed cases on Friday rose to 1,089.
So far, Uganda has confirmed one virus death since March this year when the Ministry of Health reported the outbreak of the pandemic.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general Health Services on Friday said the confirmed cases include truck drivers (four), a contact of a confirmed case, a returnee and alerts from Kampala, Lwengo and Namisindwa district where the virus death was reported on July 21.
“Out of the 10 confirmed cases; four are truck drivers, one is a contact to a confirmed case from Lwengo District, and one was an alert from Namisindwa District while three are from Kampala. One of the cases is a returnee from South Sudan,” Dr Mwebesa said.
Meanwhile, 20 foreign truck drivers (19 Kenyans and one Tanzanian) who tested positive for the virus at the border were denied entry into Uganda.
The virus death
Ministry of Health officials yesterday confirmed the first case of Covid-19 death in the country, with strong calls to Ugandans to adhere to the prevention measures put in place by the Ministry of Health.
The body of the deceased has already been buried, according to the authorities at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, where the body was briefly kept.
The deceased, a 34-year-old Ugandan female from Namisindwa District in eastern Uganda, passed on Tuesday at a clinic in Mbale District.
Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State minister for Primary Healthcare, told Daily Monitor yesterday that results from analysis of samples taken from the deceased to four laboratories, turned out positive for the contagious viral disease.
“The results came out and unfortunately, it is positive for Covid-19 and that implies Uganda has registered one case of death,” she said.
The samples taken on Wednesday were subjected to analysis at Covid-19 testing laboratories at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe, the Central Public Health Laboratory, and both Tororo and Makerere laboratories.
At the time of her first admission, Dr Kaducu said the deceased had presented Covid-19-related symptoms that included fever, headache and difficulty in breathing.
Local reports say the clinic where the woman died from has been closed although this was disputed by the ministry officials.
Dr Emmanuel Ituuza Tugaineyo, the director of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, said: “She died from another place but they called us for the body yesterday [on Wednesday].”
“From the hospital, a team from the hospital in the company of Uganda Red Cross staff took the body and buried her in Namisindwa in a professional manner,” Dr Ituuza added.
Dr Kaducu said: “The ministry immediately after her death undertook precaution and contact tracing and further investigation to make sure the people she got into contact with are identified and isolated.”
Dr Mwebesa said the contacts so far traced include family members and healthcare workers, who interacted with the deceased.
“The process of contact identification and listing is still ongoing and we believe the number of contacts may increase as extensive epidemiological investigations evolve,” he said.
So far, 30 contacts of the deceased have been isolated and put in mandatory quarantine for 14 days, the Health ministry said.
They include 18 people from Namisindwa and 12 from Mbale District.
But Dr Kaducu said the deceased might have lived with the virus for some time or she might have had other complications that caused her death.
“The message is that we should focus on prevention and anyone who has any symptoms of Covid-19 should report to health workers because if the disease is detected early, it can be managed better,” she advised.
Additiona reporting by Tonny Abet, Fred Wambede & Yahudu Kitunzi