The Ministry of Health on Wednesday confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in Uganda bringing the total number to 14.
Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu on Wednesday said that two of the five cases are Chinese nationals while the others are Ugandans.
All the first nine confirmed cases are Ugandans who are said to have been infected from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
"Dear Ugandans, this is a very critical moment for everyone as the number of positive cases keeps scaling up. Five more people have been confirmed positive, including two of the six Chinese that were got in Zombo. They cannot be presented in court for fear of further spread," Dr Kaducu announced through her Twitter handle.
So far, we have 12 Ugandans and two Chinese who have tested positive for the virus.
Among the five new cases is a 63-year-old Ugandan national and resident of Najjanakumbi, Kampala who travelled from Germany recently. He presented high fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The second victim is a 57-year-old trader and resident of Adjumani District in northern Uganda who has never travelled out of Uganda and not come in contact with someone who travelled abroad. He's admitted to Adjumani hospital. Apparently, he operates his business at Elegu border point with South Sudan.
“He had no history of travel abroad or contact with anybody who had travelled abroad,” Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services told journalists in Kampala on Wednesday.
The third victim is 8-month-old baby from Iganga District in eastern Uganda whose father travelled from Kisumu, Kenya recently.
“The baby presented with flu and high fever before she was admitted to Iganga hospital,” Dr Mwebesa added.
He said two Chinese who travelled from China and have been under quarantine in Uganda also tested positive.
“They are part of the six who tried to cross to DRC via Zombo District but were intercepted and taken back to the quarantine. Four of them tested negative.
All the previously confirmed cases (Nine) are in stable condition and Entebbe Hospital.
Dr Mwebesa admitted that the ministry's call Centre had been overwhelmed by the number of phone calls from suspected virus patients ever since the outbreak was reported.
“The number of call Centre agents have been increased from 20 to 100 and they will be working in three shifts daily. The call Centre will be operating 24 hours and so we encourage the public to call the ministry toll free numbers that have been provided,” Dr Mwebesa.
"We would like to reiterate that the public is encouraged to call the Ministry of Health on 0800-100-066, 0800-203-033 or 0800-303-033 to enable our surveillance teams assist you,” he added.
Following the ministry's appeal to all individuals who travelled from Dubai in the past two weeks, a total of 574 individuals have been listed countrywide.
“We have so far screened 60 travellers at Mulago National Specialized Hospital. We further direct all persons who travelled from Dubai in the past 2 weeks to come to Ward 2A at Mulago National Specialized Hospital (New Mulago) for assessment,” Dr Mwebesa said.
To date, a total of 2,661 travellers including Ugandans identified; 1,230 are under follow up, 764 are under institutional quarantine, 466 are under self-quarantine.
At least 1,431 had been identified as high risk travellers who have completed their 14 days of follow up.