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Health ministry worried about untraceable COVID-19 alert cases

Ruth Jane Acheng minister of health

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health is worried about COVID-19 alert cases whose contacts or source of infection are yet to be traced.

According to data from the health ministry, 3,726 alert cases accounting for 35 percent of the total number of cases have been recorded. However the transmission path of alerts still remains unknown.

Health ministry officials now say while this group might not account for the highest number of reported cases, tracing their sources of infection is next to impossible which leaves many questions unanswered.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services says alerts present a very big problem in the control of the disease.

“Our biggest problem is alerts. We have 35 percent being alerts but we do not know who infected them or where they were infected. These people walk in with symptoms but it is hard to determine where they could have picked the disease from, “he said.

According to Mwebesa unlike with contacts of cases where follow up is easy, in this group it is almost next to impossible. He says this shows there are unknown clusters of infection.

“Since we cannot detect where they were infected from, it’s impossible to stop transmission of the disease within this group,” he says.

Uganda surpassed the 11,000 mark of recorded cases today after 108 cases were reported.  Data from the health ministry shows that 119 districts in the country have recorded COVID-19 cases.

Mwebesa says with numbers, it’s important for everyone to work towards keeping safe.

“We are now in stage four of this disease and our response has changed to mitigation. We need to control the spread of the disease by adhering to SOPs. Everyone needs to take care. It’s no longer a government effort but a personal one,” he said.

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