KAMPALA – Uganda has confirmed eight more cases of Coronavirus, raising the total to nine.
In a briefing, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said all the 8 cases are Ugandan nationals who travelled back from Dubai, UAE.; 2 on the 20/03/2020 and 6 on the 22/03/2020 aboard the Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines flights.
She said they have all been isolated as all the persons who came into contact with them are being traced.
“Dubai was not on the list of our high-risk countries. But what we are seeing now, we are not sure if what was reported was right,” said Aceng.
“All cases we are getting in Uganda are from Dubai. They either traveled on Emirates or Ethiopian Airlines. All cases are people coming in from Dubai,” she noted.
To date, the minister added, a total of 2,661 travelers including Ugandans identified as potential risk have been either under self-quarantine or institutional quarantine.
Of these, 1,356 are under follow up; 774 of these are under institutional quarantine while 582 are under self-quarantine.
It remains unclear whether the confirmed cases came into contact with the first patient.
The minister says the first patient who tested positive on Saturday is stable.
Emphasising the effectiveness of hygiene and maintaining the social distance of four metres in curbing the spread of the virus, President Yoweri Museveni while addressing the nation after Uganda’s first confirmed case on Saturday announced a total shutdown of travel into the country, suspending international air travel and closing borders.
According to the president, there was a possibility that the confirmed case, a 36-year-old male resident of Kibuli, Kampala, picked the virus on his way from Dubai where he had travelled for a business trip.
The confirmed case is said to have travelled to Dubai on March 17, 2020, and returned to Uganda on March 21, before he was identified and quarantined.
He told Ugandans to avoid using public means of transport as one of the ways to avoid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Museveni said he still is contemplating a ban the use of public transport means but asked that in the meantime if possible, these should be avoided. “If you don’t have your private means of transport, don’t use public transport. Stay at home. I don’t want to ban them but I am trying to discourage you (citizens) from using them,” Museveni said.
Museveni said public transport means are puzzling him because they are one of the avenues that would see the spread of coronavirus if a sick person is among those in public transport means.