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UVRI to Limit Testing to People with Covid-19 Consistent Symptoms

This is to ensure that testing kits are not wasted on people with different ailments who do not meet the case definition of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organisation, most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and develop fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
A Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Doctor in the lab

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The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) says only people who fit in the criteria for exposure to a confirmed case or travel and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be tested for the Virus.

This is to ensure that testing kits are not wasted on people with different ailments who do not meet the case definition of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organisation, most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and develop fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.

Over the last two weeks, the Uganda Virus Research Institute -UVRI has tested 1,192 people for COVID-19, out of which, only 33 have emerged positive. Majority of these were Ugandan nationals who had just returned into the country and their contacts.

Julius Lutwama, the Deputy Director of UVRI says that currently, a lot of kits are being used, yet there is a looming crisis as a result of the lockdown in several countries around us. He adds that if the number of tests is not controlled, the country could easily run into a shortage of testing kits.

He was speaking during a meeting with the Parliament Taskforce on COVID-19 that visited the Institute and Entebbe General Referral Hospital to assess the COVID-19 situation today. Lutwama says they have been spending a lot of reagents and supplies which, however, they do not have in plenty. The institute currently has 25,000 test kits in stock.

He says onwards, they are looking at having only people meeting the case definition of COVID-19 for further examination.

//Cue in;  “So many samples…

Cue out… have the supplies.”//

Lutwama says that of the cases so far, they haven’t identified local transmission except for the case of a child in Iganga and the couple in Hoima district. He says if Ugandans observe the guidelines, they will go a long way in defeating the virus.   

Uganda Virus Research Institute Director Pontiano Kareebu says that if the infection spreads, it will better to have more testing sites with easier tests to use, and ensuring that tests are accessible.  

He says they are currently working on a plan, that could beef their capacity to test adding that the current challenge is several people even those in quarantine are eager to know whether they are negative or not. Kareebu says the problem with this is that before someone is released, they have to be tested again to confirm if they are negative.

Kareebu says that they are now identifying people who are quarantined but have been mixed up with those who eventually tested positive, and will have to undergo an additional 14 days quarantine.

//Cue in; “Many of them…

Cue out…availability of kits.”// 

There are so far 741,000 Positive cases of COVID-19 with 35,000 deaths recorded.

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