The Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has today revealed that 695 travellers including Ugandans, Chinese and other nationals have been isolated to contain Coronavirus (COVID 19 disease).
“Uganda has no confirmed case of COVID 19 as of 28th February 2020. However, to date, 695 travellers (Chinese, Ugandans and other nationals) travelling back home have been isolated for purposes of follow-up. Of these, 488 are Chinese nationals, 64 are nationals from various countries and 143 are Ugandan citizens travelling from various countries,” Aceng told reporters on Friday morning.
So far, she said, 280 individuals have completed the 14 days of self-isolation.
To prevent the importation of the virus, the Ministry of Health has enhanced surveillance measures for all travellers from all 47 countries battling COVID 19.
“This means travellers from all the 47 affected countries will be screened and will be isolated.”
The COVID 19 was first declared by China on 31st December 2020 and has now spread to all continents on Earth and over 47 countries are affected.
In Africa, Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt have already reported cases.
The Minister noted that so far samples from 10 persons in Uganda who presented signs and symptoms similar to that of COVID 19 have been tested and all samples tested negative.
She added that screenings at Entebbe International Airport and other entry points such as Busia, Malaba, Elegu and Cyanika have been strengthened with deployment of addition health workers, treatment and infection prevention materials.
“All persons crossing from these points of entry have been screened.”
Aceng says isolation facilities at all regional referral hospitals are being prepared to receive any persons that may present signs and symptoms. The Ministry of Health she said is considering another isolation facility.
“11 ambulances are on standby to transport suspected cases to appropriate level of care.”
In the meantime, the Ministry has developed Dos and Don’ts for the public, that must be followed to avert the virus.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub. This will remove the virus if it is in your hands.
Cover your mouth and nose with tissue or a handkerchief when coughing and sneezing.
The handkerchief must be washed by yourself daily and ironed with a hot iron.
Throw away the used tissue immediately into a dustbin or burn it.
Maintain reasonable distance between yourself and someone who is coughing and sneezing. At least one metre apart.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care immediately.
People with flu like signs should use the face masks to cover the nose and mouth and stay home in a well ventilated room.
If you are looking after people with signs and symptoms, you are required to use a face mask to cover your nose and mouth.
Avoid handshake and hugging at all times.
Avoid close contact with people who are visibly sick with flu like symptoms, fever, cough and sneeze.
When sick with flu like symptoms, avoid going to public places, Offices and public gatherings. Remain home in isolation to avoid infecting others.
Don’t take self-medication like antibiotics.
Do not spit in public.
Delay travel to countries that are currently with cases of Coronavirus disease.
If you have flu like symptoms, avoid travel.
Although Uganda has no case of COVID 19, Aceng called on people to remain alert and diligently exercise preventive measures to avoid contracting the disease.