Uganda on Friday reported 36 new Covid-19 cases, raising the country's tally of infections to 317.
Among the new cases, 24 are truck drivers, 20 of whom arrived via Elegu, two via Malaba and one was from Lia Point of Entry in Arua, according to Ministry of Health.
The Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said 12 of the confirmed cases are contacts to previously confirmed truck drivers.
“The contacts were under quarantine at the time of test,” she tweeted on Friday morning
Relatedly, 26 foreign truckers who tested positive for the virus were blocked from entering Uganda and handed over to their countries of origin.
“Total samples tested today (Thursday) ARE 2, 230," she added.
So far, 69 people who previously tested positive for the virus have recovered and been discharged from hospitals across the country.
While appearing on NTV's On the Spot on Thursday night, Dr Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, said the biggest threat to government effort against further spread of the virus is the borders.
“We have 53 border points that are gazetted but the biggest ones are about eight and those are the ones most people use to come into the country, so that is where we are putting more focus,” she said.
According to her, the virus-induced lockdown helped government close all entry points and was able to identify the main source of infections.
“Right now, each individual must take responsibility in ensuring that they stay safe, in that way they will be contributing to stopping the spread of COVID-19. I call upon Ugandans to adhere to guidelines because it’s the only sure way to curb this disease. COVID-19 is real, if you are unfortunate and you get it, you can actually die. It’s better to prevent than cure,” the PS added.
On the use hydroxychloroquine against the advice of World Health Organistaion, the PS said: “Research and studies on hydroxychloroquine in other countries is not the final judgement on how and when to use it. It's an inflammatory drug that has been used in Uganda for a while and it is safe.”
About revising Uganda’s tally numbers downwards, Dr Atwine said: "We were getting numbers that were not reflecting the actual numbers we had in the country because most of those tested at the border would go back to their countries before getting their results".
She also expressed concern over what she called absence of social distancing down town Kampala, especially in Kikubo.
“The situation in downtown ‘Kikuubo’ is terrible, there is nothing like social distancing and people are not really mindful. If we don’t have any kind of enforcement we are likely to see a big number of people getting infected,” she said.