COVID-19 community testing starts in Elegu as Uganda’s cases rise to 507

Fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) in Uganda
Uganda will go ahead with its planned re-opening of the country's public transport on June 4th, 2020 despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in the previous three days.

Elegu, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Health has commenced testing of members of the community around the Elegu border post in Amuru district.

The town which shares a common border with South Sudan approximately 100 kilometres north of Gulu has in recent weeks recorded a spike in COVID-19 positive cases mostly among truck drivers entering Uganda from South Sudan.

On May 30, the border area posted more than 50 cases of COVID-19 from samples tested in a single day. A day earlier, five of the 12 registered cases had arrived through Elegu and 21 cases were recorded on May 28. Several other cases were recorded at the border in previous days.

Area residents and political leaders have since called for the closure of the border to control the number of people entering Uganda through the border which according to them is letting in many COVID-19 cases. The country now has a caseload of 507 COVID-19 patients.

Amuru Deputy Resident District Commissioner Geoffrey Osborn Oceng says that the community testing which started on June 1 is aimed at ascertaining the extent of the spread of the virus on members of the community living in Elegu. It was one of the resolutions of a meeting held between the district COVID-19 task force and security teams in the district.

Amuru district chairperson Michael Lakony who also doubles as the coordinator of the district task force and chair resource mobilization says that they are targeting at least 500 people in the high-risk trading centres including, Bibia, Atiak, Pabbo, Parabongo and Akurukwe.

As the main gateway into Southern Sudan from the port of Mombasa, the Nimule-Elegu border post is of strategic importance to the EAC region. It is for this reason that President Yoweri Museveni insisted that truck drivers cannot be stopped from crossing through Uganda, despite the lockdown.

Read Also: Commercial sex workers turn cargo trucks into lodges in Elegu

Uganda will go ahead with its planned re-opening of the country’s public transport despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in three days.

Results from samples tested on June 2nd, 2020 confirm 18 new COVID-19 cases. The total confirmed cases are now 507.

Four new cases are truck drivers who arrived from South Sudan via Elegu. 2 new cases are from Malaba. 12 cases are among alerts and contacts to previously confirmed cases; 8 from Amuru, 3 from Buikwe and 1 from Kyotera districts.

Additionally, 21 positive foreign truck drivers (13 Kenyans, 3 Tanzanians, 4 Eritreans and 1 Congolese) were handed over to their country of origin.

The total number of recoveries in Uganda is 82.