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Uganda confirms its first case of coronavirus

By Mireri Junior and Agencies | March 22nd 2020


President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive banning all flights into the country. [Courtesy]

Uganda on Saturday confirmed its first case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

The patient, a 36-year-old Ugandan male who arrived from Dubai at 2 am Saturday on aboard Ethiopian Airlines was moved to the hospital after exhibiting signs of high fever and poor appetite.

According to Uganda’s Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng the patient taken to Entebbe Grade B Hospital for further follow up where a nasal swab was taken for analysis.

Aceng said all those who came into contact with the patient since arrival have been traced and called for calm.

She told Ugandans to follow the directives given by the government such as personal hygiene and social distancing to contain the spread of the disease.

“There is no need to worry if Ugandans abide by the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the disease,” she said.

Among the measures include avoiding hand shaking, hugging and calling toll free telephone numbers to report suspected cases of COVID-19 or to inquire information.

Aceng said those who travel to Uganda from the affected countries would undergo a compulsory 14-day self-isolation at their own expense.

“Due to the nature of the virus, a person who has no signs of illness can transmit the disease as a result of late incubation period. It is for that reason that we emphasise 14 days’ isolation,” she said.

President Yoweri Museveni has issued a directive banning all flights into the country.

"Starting March 22, no passenger planes or human movement allowed to enter or leave the country. Only Cargo planes and their crew members will be allowed in the country," he said.

Uganda now becomes the fifth country in Eastern Africa after Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda with confirmed cases of Covid-19

Other countries

Angola and Eritrea also confirmed their first cases of coronavirus, while Mauritius recorded its first death as the virus spreads across Africa despite measures by governments to hold it back.

Two male residents who flew back from Portugal on March 17-18 have tested positive, Angolan Health Minister Silvia Lutucuta said on Saturday, while Eritrea said its first case was a 39-year-old national who had arrived from Norway.

More than 1,000 cases have now been reported across Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.

There are concerns that the continent will not be able to handle a surge in cases without the depth of medical facilities available in more developed economies.

Zimbabwe reported its first case on Friday, and a second on Saturday, while the island of Mauritius, with 14 cases, reported its first death, a person who had traveled from Belgium via Dubai.

Many African countries have already shut their borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.

Covid 19 Time Series


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