KAMPALA —The National Planning Authority (NPA), the development planning arm of Ugandan Government has projected that the coronavirus cases curve is still raising and it will most likely reach a peak in the middle of July.
Addressing the media on Wednesday July 7 in Kampala, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the NPA Executive Director said the new projection implies that in mid-July, the COVID-19 infections will be reaching the maximum peak.
He said that NPA developed a model, that makes predictions of COVID-19 infection cases for every two weeks and that it has been in use since 2020 and has proved to be 97% accurate.
Despite current lockdown measures, Dr. Muvawala said the new model projections indicate a continuing rise in new cases but slightly lower than the previous week averaging 1,037 new cases per day.
“The model is projecting a total of 7,259 new cases for the week of 27th June to 3rd July 2021 and 7,214 for 4th to 10th July. Internal factors are the dominant contributors of new cases in the country and in this case includes the effectiveness of lockdown measures, capacity of the health systems, population structure in terms of age & underlying conditions, population density, access to health services, among others, ” he said.
In the week of June 12th to 19th June, he said the model projected 10,144 cases, and the actual reported cases were 9,926.
In the week of June 20th to 26th, the model projected 10,468 new cases and the actual reported cases were 7,329.
He said the model was developed as a result of a research collaboration between NPA and Pennsylvania State University (with funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA), which is aimed at determining the causes of neonatal mortality in Uganda.
The COVID-19 model analyses in-country and cross border factors that lead to new infections within the country.
Unlike the previous wave where factors influencing the spread were mostly from outside of the country (number of cases in neighboring countries, he said multilateral trade, frequency of border crossing), the current wave is influenced by internal factors.
The modeling tools used for the projection are based on the “Endemic-epidemic modeling” (HHH4 model) propounded by Leonard Held in 2005 in which spatial-temporal data of parameters that can explain the factors that affect the spread and reporting of COVID-19 from all African countries were tested, observing trends that are most consistent with the number of reported cases in different countries.
As virus cases surge in Uganda, making scarce hospital beds even more expensive, concern is growing over the massive exploitation of patients by private hospitals accused of demanding payment up front and hiking fees.
Uganda is among African countries seeing a dramatic rise in the number of infections amid a severe vaccine shortage.
The country has vaccinated under 1% of its 44 million people.
All Hospitals including those in Kampala, report difficulties in finding bottled oxygen, and some are running out of space for COVID-19 patients. Intensive care units are in high demand.
Although the practice of requiring deposits from patients has long been seen as acceptable in Uganda where few have health insurance, it is raising anger among who accuse Hospitals taking advantage of the crisis.