One member of parliament tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the ministry of Health has confirmed.
Although the ministry made no mention of the name of the legislator, officials told the Government Assurances committee of parliament this morning that the MP is already undergoing treatment and steadily recovering.
More than 300 legislators and staff of parliament were tested last week in a drive held at parliament. But today, the committee members were anxious to know if any of them posted positive results.
Bujenje County MP Patrick Kasumba asked the team to explain why their results were delayed and if they already know the status of those who were tested. The state minister for Primary Healthcare, Joyce Moriku Kaducu said that the MPs don’t need to worry as the said case is receiving treatment and was actually getting better.
Kaducu told the MPs that they need to be strong, eat well and they will defeat COVID-19.
"And we’re very sure, the member of parliament will get better and she will integrate and join us. That is our prayer, just like the rest of Ugandans have done," said Kaducu.
This was also confirmed by the director-general Health Services, Henry Mwebesa who said that indeed there was an MP who tested positive for COVID-19.
"Somebody from the press called me and said; ’we understand there’s a member of parliament who is positive, who is it?' Of course, I knew the names and what note but as per our rules, we don’t mention. Even if it is not a member of parliament, even if it is any other person, I cannot release the name of the person who is positive. So I said how? Am not aware, I actually pretended I had no idea. I said am in Mpondwe, I have not been in Kampala for the last three days, so am not aware of it. But what surprised me, that was a bit early because I had just got the results about an hour and then the press was asking me about a member of parliament. So it gave me an indication that there could be some leakage." Mwebesa said.
Mwebesa also told the MPs that they would get their results latest on Thursday, but hastened to add that whoever has not been contacted, posted negative results.
Although there are reports that a second MP was also receiving treatment COVID-19, the ministry said that there was no such case to the best of their knowledge. Kaducu said they do not know of any new COVID-19 case.
"Have courage, coronavirus can get anybody even you, even me. Don’t fear. What is important is to keep fit, keep your immunity strong and make sure you fight the virus with all the strength and get out of it. That is my humble request, it can get anybody," Kaducu added.
Meanwhile, the ministry of Health announced 3 new confirmed cases, increasing the cumulative total to 1,071 from the 2,098 samples tested on Tuesday. Uganda has so far tested 252,127 samples and 958 Ugandans have recovered from the virus.