Health Ministry Warns Of Increase In COVID-19 Infections, Tightens Noose On Passenger Flights

Health Ministry Warns Of Increase In COVID-19 Infections, Tightens Noose On Passenger Flights

By Our Reporter

The Ministry of Health has revealed that experts have recorded a consistent increase in Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections amongst Ugandans in the past few months.

This was revealed by the Minister for Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, who said Wednesday, that the Ministry had recorded data indicating that the increasing cases of infection occurred within the first quarter of the year.

“Between March and April 2021, the country registered an 81% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Additionally, we have started to experience a significant increase in cases among the 10-29 age group,” the Minister said.

She added that; “We registered a 12% increase in cases amongst children aged 10-19 years and a 5% increase in those aged 20-29. This is a sign that Uganda is at the foot of the resurgence or another wave in the pandemic and also an indication that all age groups are affected.”

She went on to explain that; “As per the resurgence mode categorization: we define alert level 1 as a 10%- 20% increase in cases from the baseline of any geographical area or district and action level as >20% increase. There is already an upsurge reported in districts that were previously on high alert and are now in action mode. The districts are; Kiryandongo, Adjumani, Soroti, Oyam, Gulu and Jinja.”

Dr Aceng noted that; “The emergence of the cases in Jinja is attributed to a cluster of individuals working in a factory in Buikwe district, 1 of whom recently arrived from India, with the 4 being close contacts. The 5 affected individuals have been isolated at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital and are undergoing treatment.”

She however revealed that this does not mean the other districts are not affected, although the above-listed districts have been vigilant in carrying out surveillance and reporting. The Minister said the same could be happening elsewhere.

Aceng went ahead to warn Ugandans and other nationals to watch out for cases from countries that have been categorized as ‘high-risk places’. She announced that the government had instated stringent travel restrictions for passenger flights from India and other high-risk countries.  

She elaborated by saying that; “Based on the current global trend of the COVID-19 outbreak, MOH categorized countries in relation to the COVID-19 risk they pose.

Category 1:

All flights from India and all passengers originating from India were suspended effective 1st May 2021 at 23:59hrs.

Category 2:

Travellers from the USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania should consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda. Any traveller from these countries including Ugandan nationals and residents will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test at the Points of Entry including Entebbe International Airport.”

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