Dr Julius Amumpe, an Epidemiologist and Head Quality Assurance Department in the Health Ministry, says that they have asked local field teams to collect blood samples from all suspected cases regardless of their viral status including the one that were discharged from quarantine centers.
The Health Ministry
has started collecting blood sample from all COVID-19 suspects in addition to the
nasal and throat swabs for testing.
Dr Julius Amumpe, an Epidemiologist and Head
Quality Assurance Department in the Health Ministry, says that they have asked
local field teams to collect blood samples from all suspected cases regardless
of their viral status including the ones that were discharged from quarantine centres.
He disclosed this
while addressing the Greater Masaka Regional COVID19 Taskforce at Masaka Regional
Referral Hospital. Dr Amumpe explains that being a naval pandemic,
the new testing method will help scientists make new discoveries about the
virus towards finding appropriate responses to the case-patients.
//Cue in; “The reasons why…
Cue out…will be testing.”//
He says the teams will
rely on the new mode of testing to easily identify asymptomatic cases who are
potential transmitters of the virus yet they don’t necessarily present with any
According to Dr Amumpe, the Polymerase Chain Reaction-PCR testing method that
basically analyses Nasal and Throat swabs cannot effectively detect cases
without signs yet they are equally dangerous.
The new instructions
also require health teams to move backwards and pick samples from people who
returned in the country as early as February this year.
//Cue in: “The swabs may
Cue out; …. Hundred per cent sure.”//
Dr Amumpe says that the Ministry is
also interested in capturing the Global Positioning Systems-GPS location
coordinates of residence of all suspected cases for purposes of tracing them
easily in case of any emerging eventualities.
Dr Reagan Ronald Mutebi, one of the coordinators of the Emergency Response
Team at the Ministry of Health explains that they have empowered the District Task forces with enabling software on their cellphones to be able to capture the
GPS locations as required.
Dr Edward Muwanga,
the Kyotera District Health Officer, says similar testing should be conducted
on all cross-border truck drivers whom he says still present great risk to the community
as they cross the borders of different countries.