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Uganda registers 2 more coronavirus deaths, 21 new cases

Uganda registers a further two COVID-19 deaths, raising the total number of deaths in the country to 11.

The two deaths are of a 60-year-old male of Indian origin, who died at International Hospital Kampala and a 55-year-old male who passed away at Mulago hospital. 

A further 21 new cases have been registered from the 4,108 samples tested yesterday August 12, increasing the total confirmed cases to 1,313.

Currently, according to the minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, there are 190 active cases in different hospitals across the country. These include 180 Ugandan nationals and 10 foreigners with two patients in intensive care units (ICU). 

The country's first coronavirus death occurred on July 21, 2020, in Namisindwa in eastern Uganda of a 34-year-old female health worker. The number of recoveries increased to 1,141 after another two more patients recovered from the virus.

Minister Aceng decried the increased complacency among the general population and the "careless politicians" who continue to hold mass rallies without adhering to the preventive standard operating guidelines of wearing face masks and social distancing. She urged politicians to integrate coronavirus preventive measures in their political messages, warning that careless activities will lead to more infections. 

Aceng said the breakdown of confirmed cases currently stands as follows; 183 of returnees from abroad, 557 contacts and alerts, 574 cross-border truck drivers and 39 health workers.

Aceng says to date, 595 community cases in 48 districts with 116 in Amuru, Amuru, 84 in Kyotera, in Kampala 104, 57 in Tororo and 45 in Buikwe registered. She added that at least 59 districts in the country have registered coronavirus cases with 79 cases registered in just two weeks. 

Of Uganda's 11 coronavirus deaths, 8 are from Kampala and Aceng said their infection can't be traced to any known sources and that means that with the lifting of the lockdown, the virus might have been imported into the city centre. She said 90 per cent of all patients who died were found to have underlying health complications including asthma, TB, HIV/Aids among others with the youngest death being a 24-year-old and the oldest an 80-year-old. 

So far, 3 factories in Kampala have registered coronavirus cases including Eagle Holdings (4 confirmed cases) where Uganda's 5th death of 46-year-old female of Indian origin was traced, Megha Industries (4 confirmed cases) and Toyota Uganda (3 confirmed cases).

Aceng said Ugandans' behaviour will either reverse or escalate the current coronavirus crisis. She said the health workers who have sacrificed so much in the last five months feel so bad as they see Ugandans fail to adhere to the standard operating procedures because they know exactly what will come from such behaviour as has been seen in other countries.  

Minister of Kampala Capital City, Betty Amongi said since the lifting of the lockdown on June 21, Kampala has seen a 50 per cent increase in coronavirus infections and that two arcades have since registered positive cases.

Some confirmed patients in Kampala, she says, have used taxis and boda bodas which has made tracing of contacts extremely difficult. She since Ugandans have become complacent, government is going to become tough and serious in implementing the preventive guidelines.

Amongi said since government has now distributed masks, there is no longer any excuse for people not wearing masks while in public. A new multi-sectoral task force has been set up by President Yoweri Museveni after he noticed non-adherence to his presidential directives.

The task force is headed by Maj Gen Geoffrey Muheesi from Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) who is deputized by Dr Monica Musenero, the senior presidential advisor on epidemics and Dr Ario Alex, director of the National Institute of Public Health which is mandated to strengthen the multi-sectoral co-ordination of COVID-19 related response activities and facilitate linkages across and between all sectors as well as support the enforcement of all presidential directives and SOPs. 

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