DR HENRY MWEBESA: The patients we discharged were on hydroxychloroquine and erythromycin.
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Prime Miniser Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has today discharged three patients who were positive for COVID-19.
The three, handed certificates indicating good health, were one of 53 of Uganda’s confirmed cases of corona-virus infection.
That brings the number of discharged patients to four, including the index case – a businessmen who flew to and returned from Dubai early March.
All four, according to the Director General Health Services Uganda Dr Henry Mwebesa, were treated using hydroxychloroquine, one of several anti-malarial drugs world health experts are testing on patients.
“The patients we are discharging today were on hydroxychloroquine and erythromycin,” he confirmed in a tweet.
An event to discharg the former patients was held Saturday at Entebbe Grade B Hospital at an event where part of the medical teams that have been treating the patients for 21 days, attended and were recognized for their effort.
“In a special way, I want to say a big thank you to the health workers who manage the COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases. You are our real heroes. Without you, we cannot get through this battle. Thank you and God bless you,” Minister of Health Ruth Aceng said.
“Thank you so much for putting your lives on the line and now we happily discharging the first recovered patients,” added Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine.
Minister of Health Ruth Aceng confirmed that 15 more patients are set to be discharged on Easter Sunday.
Both hydroxychloroquine and the related compound chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, are being studied worldwide as potential weapons in the coronavirus fight, reports AFP.
But proposals to put them to use immediately for more patients have proven highly controversial, with many experts warning there is not yet enough evidence of their safety or effectiveness against COVID-19.
A French doctor in particular, Didier Raoult, has raised hopes by treating patients with a combination of hydroxychloroquine (HQC) and the antibiotic azithromycin, an initiative that many health officials refuse to endorse in the absence of more rigorous studies.