Uganda’s Ministry of Health on Thursday reported the country’s first Covid-19 death as confirmed cases rose to 1,079.
The deceased was a 34-year-old Ugandan support staff working in Namisindwa District, according to Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general health services.
She first presented with Covid-like signs and symptoms including fever, dry cough, headache and difficulty in breathing.
She was initially admitted to Wasungui HC II on Wednesday (July 15, 2020) and treated for severe pneumonia.
However, on Monday (July 20, 2020), she was transferred to Joy Hospice health facility, in Mbale District, where she was isolated in the female ward.
While in isolation, the patient’s condition deteriorated with difficulty in breathing, cough, chills and headache. She passed on Tuesday (July 21, 2020) at 2:00am and was buried on Thursday (July 23, 2020) as per Safe Dignified Burial procedures.
“In our earlier report we had indicated that the deceased was not a Ugandan. Further investigations have since established that she was a Ugandan from Manafwa, Bubulo East, Namabya- Namunyali- Sisongofwa,” Dr Mwebesa told journalists in Kampala on Thursday.
The postmortem samples from the deceased were confirmed positive for SARS-COV-2 by four laboratories: UVRI, CPHL, Tororo and Makerere.
“In addition, findings at postmortem showed features of acute pneumonia, findings that are consistent with COVID-19 infection,” he added.
The Namasindwa District Task Force has reportedly been reactivated to coordinate the district response.
So far, 30 contacts to the deceased have been listed and placed under quarantine by the health authorities in Namisindwa and Mbale districts.
Dr Mwebesa said the listed contacts so far include family members, and healthcare workers, with the process of contact identification and listing still ongoing.
“We believe the number of contacts may increase as the extensive epidemiological investigation evolves,” he said.
“The contacts will be monitored daily for 14 days as per our protocol by district surveillance teams supported by Ministry of Health experts who will be deployed in the district,” Dr Mwebesa added.
A total of 971 Ugandans have recovered from the virus since the first case was confirmed in March this year.