The Ministry of Health has corrected mistakes made in announcing COVID-19 confirmed cases after President Museveni tasked the Ministry to clarify.
While addressing Parliament at the Budget Speech on Thursday this week, Museveni said that the total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Uganda are lower than the figure announced by the Health Ministry because there were some negative cases which were declared positive.
Today Saturday, the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has made a clarification and said that it is true and the error was made in the laboratory at Makerere University.
Aceng said that between the 3rd and 4th of June 2020, a batch of 50 samples from within the Kampala area was analyzed in Makerere University laboratory and yielded results that were detected as positive.
The results were communicated to the respective individuals.
As a matter of quality assurance, some samples from this batch were then sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for retesting.
Aceng, therefore, said that there was discordance in some samples and the entire batch had to be retested which confirmed that some 9 cases which had earlier been declared positive were in fact negative.
“There was discordance in some of the samples in this batch which required the entire batch to be retested. When the batch was retested, some of the previously confirmed positive cases (they were 9 in number) were found to be negative and the individuals were informed accordingly. We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated error and does not affect all other tests that have been conducted since quality assurance is an integral part of the laboratory testing,” said Aceng.
She added, “the 9 cases have now been discounted from our Statistics to give a total confirmed number of 685.”
The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Uganda has now dropped from 694 to 685.
Some of the factors that can cause errors in test results according to Aceng include limitation of the test itself and others are due to processing errors or errors leading to false results.
They can be classified as pre-analytic errors (errors before analysis) which may arise during sample collection, packaging, shipping, or opening.
Others may be errors that may occur during sample analysis which are referred to as analytic errors during the sample collecting or testing the sample.
Others are errors that can occur after the analysis which are referred to as post-analytic which may occur during the reading of results, analyzing results, interpretation, decoding, or writing conclusions of results.
Aceng, therefore, highlighted a number of remedies to stop the incident from happening again and they included increasing the number of healthcare workers to match the workload, continuous training of Laboratory staff, frequent validation of reagents on various machines among others.
Currently, Uganda has a total of 685 COVID-19 confirmed cases, 199 recoveries, and no fatalities.