Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda has hit the 1,000 mark of confirmed COVID-19 cases after 23 more people tested positive for the disease on Wednesday 8th, July 2020.
The confirmed cases were part of 3,316 samples that were tested yesterday. 12 of the confirmed cases are among returnees while three are among truck drivers. Eight other cases were picked from communities among contacts.
All the 12 returnees are Ugandan nationals that entered the country in the past two weeks. Eight of them are from Afghanistan, three from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one from South Sudan.
Health workers say the increase in cases should be wake up call for all Ugandans that COVID-19 is spreading. Dr Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and also a senior presidential advisor on epidemics says that the increase in cases being reported should be a wake up call for Ugandans to take the disease seriously.
In the past few weeks, health workers have been warning of increasing cases due to complacency on the side of the public. Many know longer adhere to safety measures like washing hands and wearing masks.
Musenero, however, hails health workers for all the work they have done that has controlled the spread of the disease. She says if it were not for the work of health workers, many more Ugandans would be sick. As Uganda hit the 1,000 mark today, the African continent yesterday surpassed the 500,000 mark with over 11,900 death recorded.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), such increases on the African continent will likely weaken health systems. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Africa region director says that countries need to resume controlling the spread of the disease because the rate at which cases are increasing will weaken health systems.
“With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of COVID-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating. So far the continent has avoided disaster and if countries continue to strengthen key public health measures such as testing, tracing contacts and isolating cases, we can slow down the spread of the virus to a manageable level,” Moeti said.
Uganda’s most stringent preventive measure has been instituting the lockdown. However since it was lifted, Dr Musenero says life is back to normal for many people.
“The lockdown worked for us where hand washing and usage of masks has failed. Since we lifted the lockdown reported cases have been increasing and they will continue to increase because many people are not bothered,” she said.
It has taken 109 days for the country to hit four-digit numbers of reported cases. According to Musenero, if nothing is done to make the public more aware about the disease, today’s milestone might be the beginning of a scenario where more cases will be reported on a daily basis which will lead the country to hit the 10,000 mark quicker than it took to hit the 1,000.