Uganda reports first COVID-19 death

Uganda’s Director-General of Health Services Dr. Henry Mwebesa (centre) addresses the press. COURTESY: TWITTER/Ministry of Health Uganda

Uganda reported its first COVID-19-related death, the Director-General of Health Services Dr. Henry Mwebesa confirmed on Thursday.

According to Uganda’s Ministry of Health, the deceased was a 34-year-old Ugandan woman who presented COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever, dry cough, headache and difficulty in breathing.

The woman had died at a clinic in Mbale on Tuesday and the ministry had launched an investigation into her death. The ministry said that samples were taken from the deceased and tested at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

“The postmortem samples from the deceased were confirmed positive for SARS-COV-2 by 4 laboratories: UVRI, CPHL, Tororo and Makerere. In addition, findings at postmortem showed features of acute pneumonia; findings that are consistent with COVID-19 infection,” the ministry tweeted.

The ministry added that the task force in the districts of Namasindwa and Mbale (where the woman died) had been reactivated and 30 contacts to the deceased had been listed and placed under quarantine by health authorities.

Uganda was one of the few countries in the continent which had not yet recorded a death from COVID-19 by mid-July, according to the Africa CDC; the others were Eritrea and Seychelles. Some countries like Namibia, Burundi and Botswana had recorded just one death by then.