Uganda has hit the 1,000 mark of confirmed
COVID-19 cases after 23 people tested positive for the disease yesterday.
The confirmed cases were part of 3,316 samples that
were tested yesterday. 12 of the confirmed cases are among returnees while
three are among truck drivers. Eight other cases were picked from communities among
All the 12 returnees are Ugandan nationals that
entered the country in the past two weeks. Eight of them are from Afghanistan,
three from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one from South Sudan.
Health workers say the increase in cases should be wake
up call for all Ugandans that COVID-19 is spreading. Dr. Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and also a
senior presidential advisor on epidemics says that the increase in cases being reported
should be awake up call for Ugandans to take the disease seriously.
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In the past few weeks, health workers have been warning
of increasing cases due to complacency on the side of the public. Many know
longer adhere to safety measures like washing hands and wearing masks.
Musenero however hails health workers for all the work
they have done that has controlled the spread of the disease. She says if it
were not for the work of health workers, many more Ugandans would be sick.
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As Uganda hit the 1,000 mark today, the African continent yesterday surpassed the 500,000 mark with over 11,900 death recorded.
According to the World Health Organisation, such
increases on the African continent will likely weaken health systems.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Africa region director
says that countries need to resume controlling the spread of the disease
because the rate at which cases are increasing will weaken health systems.
“With more than a third of countries in Africa
doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of COVID-19 overwhelming
fragile health systems on the continent is escalating. So far the continent has
avoided disaster and if countries continue to strengthen key public health
measures such as testing, tracing contacts and isolating cases, we can slow
down the spread of the virus to a manageable level,” she said.
Uganda’s most stringent preventive measure has been
instituting the lockdown. However since it was lifted, Dr. Musenero says life is
back to normal for many people.
“The lockdown worked for us where hand washing and
usage of masks has failed. Since we lifted the lockdown reported cases have
been increasing and they will continue to increase because many people are not
bothered,” she said.
It has taken 109 days for the country to hit four
digit numbers of reported cases. According to Musenero, if nothing is done to
make the public more aware about the disease, today’s milestone might be the beginning
of a scenario where more cases will be reported on a daily basis which will
lead the country to hitting the 10,000 mark quicker than it took to hit the