Uganda records 8 new coronavirus cases

This photo taken on February 4, 2020 shows a medical staff member showing a test tube after taking samples taken from a person to be tested for the new coronavirus at a quarantine zone in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, in China’s central Hubei province. AFP PHOTO

Uganda has recorded eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to nine, a top health official said here Monday.

Health Minister Ruth Aceng told reporters that all the eight new cases are Ugandan nationals, who arrived in the east African nation from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates aboard Emirates and Ethiopian airlines on March 20-22.

“The ministry of health appeals to all those travelers who have been to Dubai in the past two weeks to immediately call the health desk for further follow-up,” she said.

The minister said a total of 2,661 travelers have been identified as potential risks who are under either self-quarantine or institutional quarantine.

“A total of 1,356 people are under follow-up, 774 people of whom are under institutional quarantine while 582 people are still under self-quarantine. A total of 1,305 risk travelers have completed their 14 days of follow-up,” said Aceng.

“I would like to appeal to the general public to cooperate with the measures being taken by government to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” said Aceng.

“We continue to appeal to the general public to remain calm and take preventive measures — wash your hands always and maintain social distancing of four meters,” she said.

Uganda recorded its first confirmed case on Saturday after a 36-year-old Ugandan male returned to the country from Dubai.

Uganda has since issued stringent measures aimed at containing the spread of the disease. The country’s borders are closed to incoming or outgoing international travelers, except cargo and emergency landings.

The country has also banned all public gatherings and closed schools, centers of worship, among others, for more than one month.

Security agencies in the country have arrested dozens of people, including foreigners, for violating the guidelines issued by the government.