By Mable Nakibuuka
The number of Ugandans dying of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasing each day and according to the Ministry, the total number of deaths is now at the 191 mark.
This is out of the total number of infected people which stands at 18, 890 cases and 8, 832 recoveries that have been registered so far.
According to Ministry of Health officials, the rate of infection in different parts of the country has skyrocketed during the campaign period ahead of next year’s presidential election and this has been attributed to huge crowds that gather for political rallies.
According to the State Minister for Health Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Kampala continues to account for the bulk of the cases .i.e. one third of all cases nationally.
West Nile, Elgon, North sub-region remain the main transmission hotspots, although to date, only 9 districts have not reported a case.
While addressing the press this week, the Minister said that “In the past one month, we have witnessed patients with severe forms of the disease accompanied with more deaths, as the vulnerable populations like the elderly (above 60) and those with diabetes, hypertension etc are more exposed in their communities. This increasing trend of infections, progression to severe forms of the disease and increased fatalities is worrisome and is severely stretching the health systems.”
She added that; “The strain on the health systems can only be reduced if the population adheres to the SOPs and this will lead to a reduction in the infections.”
She also noted that; “Since the opening of schools for candidate classes, working with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Health has unmasked clusters of COVID-19 transmission in 4 different learning institutions. Following discussions with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the following has been recommended:
- Schools should not close despite confirmation of positive cases unless it is in consultation with the Director General of Ministry of Health
- Schools should enforce “stay home” policy for learners and teachers that feel unwell, with quick linkage to health authorities
- Strengthen surveillance in schools to identify cases early
- Engage with schools on health education risk perception and behaviour change to promote a preventive atmosphere in schools
- Engage with private schools to improve surveillance and reporting of COVID in these communities.