The Ministry of Health has provided toll free numbers for the public to report any suspected cases of Coronavirus.
This is part of the government’s vigilance program as it moves to protect Ugandans from the killer disease.
In a statement issued by the Health Minister Hon. Dr. Ruth Aceng, the public is advised to remain vigilant and verify information from the ministry.
“The public is advised to report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call our toll-free lines on 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066 or the following officers – Mr Atek Kagirita 0782 909 153, Dr Allan Muruta- 0772 460297,” a statement from Hon Jane Ruth Aceng reads.
“The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public to remain calm and vigilant and always verify information from the Ministry of Health to avoid spreading false rumours which may cause unnecessary anxiety,” the statement further reads.
The People’s Republic of China declared an outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on 31st December 2019. This outbreak has now spread to all continents, and over 47 countries are currently affected. Many others are being affected too.
In Africa, Egypt, Algeria, and Nigeria have already reported cases. The possibility of spread to other African countries, Uganda inclusive is extremely high.
Although Uganda has no cases of COVID-19, it is pertinent that the population remains on high alert and diligently exercises preventive measures to avoid contracting the disease.
Uganda has no confirmed case of COVID-19 as of 28th February 2020. However, to date 695 travellers, Chinese, Ugandans and otherstravelling back home have been isolated for purposes of follow up. Of these, 488 are Chinese nationals, 64 other nationals while 143 are Ugandan citizens. Two hundred eighty (280) individuals have completed 14 days of self-isolation.
The Ministry of Health continues to undertake the following measures to prevent importation of the virus into the country.
The Ministry has enhanced surveillance measures for all travellers from COVID-19 affected countries.
The Uganda Virus Research Institute has the necessary equipment and reagents to test and confirm any suspected COVID-19 sample in the country. So far, samples from 10 persons who presented with signs and symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 have been tested. All tested negative.
Screening at Entebbe International Airport and other points of entry like Malaba, Busia, Eregu and Cyanika have been strengthened with deployment of additional health workers, equipment and infection prevention materials.
Travellers from affected countries are required to undergo 14 days self-isolation and are monitored daily by the Ministry of Health surveillance teams.
Travellers who develop symptoms during the follow-up period are checked, samples are taken, tested and advised on appropriate care.
Ministry of Health continues to engage media outlets and other communication channels to disseminate public information on COVID.
Entebbe and Naguru referral hospitals have been prepared to receive and manage suspected cases. In addition, isolation facilities at all regional referral hospitals are being prepared to receive people who may present with signs and symptoms.
Eleven ambulances are on standby to transport suspected cases to the appropriate level of care.
The Ministry of Health has developed dos and don’ts to educate the public on how to avoid contracting the disease.