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Uganda’s COVID-19 cases rise to 83

The two new cases are both Kenyan truck drivers

🔸 2 new cases (truck drivers)
✳ 31,350 tested
✳ 83 confirmed cases
✳ 52 recoveries
✳ 17 active cases
✳ 0 deaths

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Uganda has risen to 83 after two more people tested positive to the virus.

The two new cases are both Kenyan truck drivers. One of the drivers,  a 55-year-old entered the country through the Busia border crossing while the other case a 27-year-old entered through Malaba. This brings the number of truck drivers who have tested positive to 24.

The two positive cases were part of 1,579 samples that were picked from truck drivers as part of the mandatory testing drive and tested at the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The other tests that were carried out were 492 picked from the community through the ongoing community survey.

News of the two cases comes hours after ministers within the East African Community bloc agreed to reduce the number of people that travel with every truck to one. In addition to this, all truck drivers will now not be allowed to make any stops at either hotels or lodges or eating places.

These measures are supposed to reduce the spread of the disease to highway communities that are likely to come into contact with positive truck drivers.

To date, Uganda is following over 500 people that are believed to have come into contact with truck drivers who tested positive.

Health minister Aceng checking the screening instruments at Entebbe airport.

Scientists puzzled

Ugandan scientists are still puzzled about the few COVID-19 cases reported in the country. Uganda has the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the East African block. Rwanda and Kenya have 212 and 374 confirmed cases respectively. Tanzania has 306 cases while Uganda stands at 83.

Ugandan Scientists are now calling for studies to find out why there are few COVID-19 cases in the country compared to its neighbors.

Prof Rhoda Wanyenze, an epidemiologist who is in charge of COVID-19 case modeling on the national COVID-19 task force says it is still unknown why Uganda and Africa as a whole have registered lower COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of the world.

“We have begun studies to determine why this is so but we suspect that it might have more to do with demographics of the country where in the case of Uganda, majority are young people less susceptible to the disease,” Prof Wanyenze said. Data front the Health Ministry indicates that majority of COVID-19 cases in Uganda originated from neighboring countries.

So far, only seven community transmissions have been reported from over 25,000 tests conducted. Dr. Misaki Wayengera, the Head of the Scientific Committee on the COVID-19 Task Force attributes the low cases in the country to the quick decision taken by President Yoweri Museveni.

Even before Uganda announced its fast COVID-19 case, President Yoweri Museveni closed all schools and banned public gatherings. When the first cases were announced on March 21, 2020, the number of directives issued by the President increased.

Museveni has taken quick measures that are reaping fruits

Currently there are 35 directives including a five week lockdown of the country.

Dr. Wayengera says that one constant thing that the virus has shown is that it enters countries through border crossings. He says that in African countries like Uganda, the rate of cross border travel is not as wide spread as in developed countries where travel from one state to another might require air travel and not a taxi or bus.

At the moment, the number of confirmed cases in some countries is higher than that of the entire African continent. Africa has 35,094 confirmed cases. It’s numbers are closer to those reported in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and even India. The global epicenter of the disease is the US with over one million cases reported.



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