Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has explained that the extra COVID-19 active cases that were initially not added to the national tally, are truck drivers who opted to seek treatment in Uganda, as opposed to going back to their countries.
According to a statement issued by the health ministry, the country currently has a total of 870 COVID-19 cases. With a recorded 808 discharged patients, the country should be having 62 active patients in hospitals across the country.
However, according to the health ministry, there are a total of 190 active COVID-19 patients receiving care at eight hospitals in the country. These include 128 foreign nationals being treated from Mulago National Referral Hospital, Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Masaka, Mbarara and Kabale Regional Referral hospitals.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health says that the additional cases receiving treatment are from Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.
“When we report cases, we only record those of nationals. But there are a number of non-nationals like truck drivers and refugees who are receiving treatment for COVID-19. The foreigners were admitted into care as we prepared for their repatriation but once settled, they chose to complete their treatment in the country,” Dr Mwebesa said.
This was done even after President Yoweri Museveni directed health and port officials not to allow foreign nationals who test positive to enter into the country. However, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told URN earlier that some neighbouring countries need help treating positive cases.
“Some neighbouring countries need some help. So we decided to treat all the positive cases that would come from South Sudan,” Dr Aceng said.
At the moment, all foreign truck drivers who test positive for COVID-19 are handed over to their countries of origin according to the health ministry.