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Uganda records sharpest rise in COVID-19 cases as 84 test positive

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Uganda records sharpest rise in COVID-19 cases as 84 test positive

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s Health Minister


The number of Ugandan truck drivers catching and spreading COVID-19 has escalated the country’s pandemic by adding 84 new cases in just one day, to the country’s already weak healthcare system.

Uganda’s Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed in her May 30, 2020 tweet that her ministry recorded 84 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with all the new cases related to Ugandan truck drivers. The latest number has pushed the country’s tally of confirmed cases to 413.

She said, 52 of the new cases were from truck drivers with 50 coming via Elegu on Uganda’s border with South Sudan, while 2 arrived via Busia. The remaining 32 cases are contacts to previously confirmed cases.

Fortunately perhaps, Dr. Aceng said, all the cases were under quarantine at the time of test.

And although Uganda revised its methodology of handling COVID-19 cases especially concerning those from neighbouring countries, it has not stopped them from testing the foreign truck drivers.

Indeed, as Aceng noted, 51 new COVID-19 positive cases of non-Ugandan truck drivers were obtained at various border points and were handed back to their countries.

The trend at the Elegu border however points to a worsening COVID-19 situation in South Sudan, where the number of cases has reached 994 with 10 deaths.

The BBC reported about a fortnight ago that 10 ministers in Presidet Salva Kiir’s government had tested positive.

Uganda’s Members of Parliament under their umbrella body the Acholi Parliamentary Association this week urged the government to impose an immediate quarantine for the entire community of Elegu town after citing major gaps in which they detected possible escape routes for COVID-19 cases.

The MPs under their chairperson Betty Aol Ochan, who is also the Leader of Opposition, asked government to take over the control of the border from the town council.

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