Ministry of Health Task Force Dubai returnees
Ministry of Health Task Force is hunting for 10,500 Dubai returnees as 150 tests negative. FILE PHOTO

COVID-19: Ministry of Health Task Force is hunting for 10,500 Dubai returnees as 150 tests negative

As Uganda struggles to contain COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health Task Force has revealed that they are searching for 10,500 travellers from Dubai and other affected countries who arrived in the country through Entebbe International Airport between 7 March and 22nd March 2020 when the Airport was closed to test them for COVID-19.

Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Henry Mwebesa revealed that since calls were made to all travellers who arrived into the country between 7th March and 22nd March only 2500 have reported to Mulago Referral Hospital ward 2A with over 10,500 being hunted by the task force.

“What we are talking about is not Kampala alone, it’s beyond Kampala. So, when we get information even if they are upcountry let me say in Soroti our team in Soroti will reach you.”
Mwebesa says soon the country will get news of a recovered case because the 8 months baby from Iganga shows promising recovery results.

Mwebesa says the baby has been removed from the isolation ward to another ward, as they are waiting for the final results of both parents and the baby before she can be discharged.

“We are doing further tests on that baby and the parents again and the clinical team is evaluating their condition and depending on the guidance of the specialists we shall decide,” Mwebesa said.

Ministry of Health Task Force Dubai returnees
Ministry of Health Task Force is hunting for 10,500 Dubai returnees as 150 tests negative. FILE PHOTO

Further, Mwebesa said Uganda may not have their numbers shot up as earlier projected to over 18,000 cases and 566 deaths by the end of April because the current guidelines are yielding better results.

Dr Mwebesa says unless the given guidelines are abused and numbers shot up which will overstretch Uganda’s hospitals and cases will be managed at home.

“So far now the scenario is still on scenario one where we are looking at all our patients in the hospitals. Initially, we’re doing it here but now we’re equipping the district hospitals; we’re going to health centre IVs. That’s the difficult scenario which we are looking at if we are overwhelmed by cases.”

150 samples of COVID-19 tested on Tuesday 7th, April 2020 all turned negative and numbers of confirmed cases remain at 52 according to the Ministry of health.

In this regard, Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said all the patients are in stable condition at Entebbe Grade B, Mulago, Ajumani and Hoima Hospitals.

“A total of 150 samples have tested negative for COVID-19 confirmed cases stands at 52 in Uganda. Uganda we can do this.” Aceng tweeted.

Ministry of Health has received a boost from Nytil Textiles including bed sheets, money worth 100m shillings and masks as the first manufacturers of masks in Uganda.

Commenting on the package received from Nytil, Dr Diana Atwine Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health said some of the things are directly going to be used especially the masks.

“Some of these things are going to be directly used, masks they are going to go to health workers and all the people who are involved in this response,” Diana Atwine said.

Nytil says they can produce over 200 masks with hopes to start manufacturing the clinically approved M95 Masks soon as requested by the government.

Also, Jumia Uganda donated face masks worth 8m shillings; Fresh Cuts donated food items, cooking oil and cornflour to the ministry to boost their service.

Majority of COVID-19 cases are Ugandans who got infected in Dubai and Europe, and their contacts have risen to 9,000.