1900 new infections as Uganda imposes mandatory Covid-19 testing for travellers

Testing. Truck drivers from Kenya line up to be tested for Covid-19 at the Busia border post before proceeding into Uganda on May 20. Authorities in Uganda re-imposed a mandatory Covid-19 testing for all travellers in an attempt to contain a resurgent Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO BY DAVID AWORI

What you need to know:

  • Uganda’s test positivity rate Sunday evening shot up to 23.3%, the highest in almost 3 months, as some 1, 936 new Covid-19 cases were reported overnight- extending Uganda’s tally to 144, 540 infections.

All travellers and truck drivers entering Uganda shall be subjected to a mandatory Covid-19 PCR test at their own cost at every entry point, government has directed.

“At Shs110, 000, travellers shall test each time they enter this country,” reads a notice issued January 1 by the Ministry of Health through Port Health Services.

The requirement set to come into force following a recent surge in new Covid-19 cases “shall see truck drivers have their results only valid for seven days while in transit.”

“After taking off the samples, clients shall be allowed to proceed and results of travellers shall be sent to their email addresses while truck drivers will receive theirs on smart phones,” the Services informed Saturday.

Uganda’s test positivity rate Sunday evening shot up to 23.3%, the highest in over 3 months, as some 1, 936 new Covid-19 cases were reported overnight- extending Uganda’s tally to 144, 540 infections since the outbreak was confirmed March 2020, forcing a return to somewhat stricter restrictions.

At 84, the number of active cases admitted in health facilities across the country remained constant for December 30 and 31 data respectively. 

About 3, 302 Coronavirus related fatalities and at least 98, 489 cumulative recoveries have been noted by health authorities during the same period.

Committing to fully reopening Uganda’s economy from January 2022, President Museveni December 31, 2021 observed that the “Omicron Covid-19 variant is very serious,” warning that he could reverse that decision “if a high Covid-19 dependency on ICU bed occupancy exceeds 50% and once the daily rate of the hospitalization of critically ill patients is sustained at 30 per day for 5 days in 2 or more Covid-19 units in Uganda.”

Government agencies and officials are also urging citizens to “be safe” in messages circulated on social media.

“Go out and get vaccinated,” Mr Museveni rallied over 22million Covid-19 vaccine candidates from Uganda’s more than 40million-people population as he closed his New Year address.

Uganda’s Covid stats as of January 2, 2022

New cases- 1, 936

Test positivity rate- 23.3%

Cumulative tests conducted- 2, 160, 185

Cumulative cases- 144, 540

Active cases admitted- 84

Cumulative recoveries- 98, 489

Deaths- 3,302

Total vaccine doses administered- 11, 377, 067

*Source: Ministry of Health

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