Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health ministry is to carry out a COVID-19 rapid assessment survey to determine the number of people that have been infected with COVID-19. The survey is scheduled to be carried out at the end of the month.
This follows a drop in the number of people who are testing for the disease. According to the health ministry, the rate of collecting samples has dropped to over 50 percent.
Data from the health ministry show that in the last two weeks, 1,200 samples on average have been collected and tested nationwide for COVID-19 compared to over 5,000 samples two months ago.
This will be the third assessment that the health ministry will be carrying out for COVID-19 since the country declared its first case in March 2020.
During the previous assessment, over 14,000 persons living in 11 districts that were reporting high numbers of cases were tested. The main aim of the study was to determine the extent of community transmissions in the country.
Results that were released by the health ministry showed that there were no community transmissions despite there being a slow but steady increase in the number of cases reported.
Prof Moses Joloba, the Dean School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences and also an investigator on the survey says unlike the first two assessment that were focused on community infections, the third assessment will focus on the rate of exposure of communities to the virus.
According to the health ministry, the assessment will be countrywide. Participants in the survey will be randomly picked and asked whether they have ever been infected with COVID-19 or not.
Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Curative Services at the health ministry says the assessment will help answer some of the questions that they are investigating like the reason for the sudden drop in COVID-19 reported cases.
“The assessment will probably help answer the questions of why we are seeing a drop in COVID cases. Right now, we do not have a definite answer,” Olaro said.
In addition to this, it is hoped the survey will be able to show the actual number of Ugandans who have been infected with the disease since March 2020.
To date, 40,154 cases of COVID-19 have been reported with 331 deaths and 14,569 recoveries. Dr Olaro says they believe the number of people who have been infected with the virus to be higher than this. According to the health ministry, only 10 percent of COVID-19 cases are being reported.