Covid infections among refugees rising - officials
What you need to know:
- Seventy-eight of the positive cases were confirmed on Wednesday alone, according to Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Shafiq Sekandi, who chairs the district’s Covid-19 taskforce.
Up to 101 Congolese refugees who crossed to Uganda at end of March have tested positive for Covid, sparking panic that their untested colleagues living informally in the communities could spread the disease and overburden response.
Seventy-eight of the positive cases were confirmed on Wednesday alone, according to Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Shafiq Sekandi, who chairs the district’s Covid-19 taskforce.
Official statistics shows that some 30,481 Congolese nationals have since March 28, when M23 rebels made the first onslaught this year on Congo-side Bunagana town, been registered for refuge in Uganda.
The rising cases of Covid among them has prompted Kisoro leaders to cry out to government and development partners for vaccines and bolstered screening of the old and new arrivals.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to stem spread of the pandemic is being tightly enforced at Nyakabande refugee transit camp as well as among communities informally hosting the fleeing population, some their relatives.
“… we recommended that a mass Covid-19 screening exercise be conducted before all the refugees at Nyakabande refugee transit camp are vaccinated,” said RDC Sekandi.
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Ms Annet Dusabe, the Kisoro assistant district health officer, said most Covid cases registered among the refugees are mild, and that they plan mass inoculation once Ministry of Health dispatches the vaccines from Kampala.