Uganda confirms five new coronavirus cases, total up to 14

Director General of Health Services at the Ugandan Ministry of Health Dr Henry Mwebesa speaks during an event on updating the country about the latest on the spread of the coronavirus. COURTESY: TWITTER/Ugandan Ministry of Health

Uganda has confirmed five new positive cases of the coronavirus, the Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health Dr Henry Mwebesa said on Wednesday.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Uganda to 14.

Dr Mwebesa did not give any further details of the patients, including their travel history or where they have been placed under medical care.

Mwebesa also revealed that 764 people are under institutional quarantine while another 466 are under self-quarantine in the country. He added that 1,431 high risk travelers have completed their 14 days of follow up.

Following the confirmation of eight new cases of the virus who had returned from the UAE, Mwebesa appealed to all individuals who had traveled there in the last 14 days to report to a given health centre.

“We have so far screened 60 travelers at Mulago National Specialized Hospital. We further direct all persons who travelled from Dubai in the past 2 weeks to come to Ward 2A at Mulago National Specialized Hospital for assessment.”

In the days since the confirmation of the first case last Saturday, Uganda has announced a raft of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Some of the measures include the suspension of all flights, with necessary exemptions including for cargo flights; the closure of all borders and a ban on public gatherings, including religious prayers, and sports and cultural events for 30 days.

Additionally, the government closed schools, universities and businesses like bars, discos and clubs, and people were urged to reduce the use of public transportation and maintain social distancing.