HomeHealthGovernment Postpones Compulsory Covid-19 Test On In-coming Travellers as Third Wave Looms.

Government Postpones Compulsory Covid-19 Test On In-coming Travellers as Third Wave Looms.

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The Health minister Dr. Ruth Aceng last month announced that all travellers arriving in the country must gone through mandatory covid-19 test at a cost of $65 for second test upon arrival.

According to the ministry of health plans, this was expected to start by yesterday, however, an inter-ministerial committee convened by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja cited unpreparedness and postponed implementation for two weeks due to readiness of the laboratories and other issues at the airport and testing centre.

However, it has been observed that the government decision to compel travellers with a PCR tests done 72 hours before travel to pay $65 for second test upon arrival in Uganda faced outrage from frequent travellers, tour operators and some legislators.

They alleged that the mandatory testing at Penial Beach Hotel, Entebbe, is aimed at enriching a few private companies that will be doing the tests.

The decision for mandatory covid-19 test upon arrival in Uganda was aimed at tightening rules sought to stop abuse and importation of deadly variants into the country according to ministry of health.

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, yesterday confirmed the postponement of mandatory testing and this will help them assess the capacity of testing centres and also address issues of how companies were selected.

‘‘The implementation of mandatory testing has been deferred by two weeks because of the readiness of the laboratories and other issues. The inter-ministerial committee led by the Prime minister will visit the airport and testing site,’’ Mr Ainebyoona said.
Meanwhile, government has named ten districts in the country as the new sequence for Covid-19 and these include Soroti, Kumi, Ngora, Serere, and Bukedea, which are all in Teso Sub-region, while the others are Rubanda, Kabale, Obongi, Koboko, and Bundibugyo.

“In the last seven days, between August 22 and August 28,
According to Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, there has been some emerging hosequences that are registering an increase in transmission and number of hospitalizations in the country.

‘‘The area we are closely watching is the Teso Sub-region,” Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona,said yesterday
Analysis of the Ministry of Health statistics between August 25 and August 31 indicates that the five districts in Teso contributed about a quarter of total cases of Covid-19 infections. A total of 1,067 cases were reported in the period but up to 239 cases came from the five districts out of 135 districts in the country.

Serere District alone, registered up to 127 cases in the period, Kumi (50), Soroti (35), Bukedea (15) and Ngora (12). Information from the ministry also shows that infections are being driven by the delta variant, which is highly transmissible.

“We have already deployed our search response team and also positioned ambulances to ensure that we respond timely to this increasing number of cases. Other areas that are showing an increase in cases include Rubanda, Kabale, Obongi, Koboko, and Bundibugyo districts. These places are also being closely monitored,” Mr Ainebyoona added.

The statistics from the ministry indicate that as of August 31, 386 Covid-19 patients were in admission in public and private facilities. Of this, there were 277 in public hospitals and prisons health facilities had 83 while private health facilities with 26.

According to Mr Ainebyoona, 24,618 are undergoing home-based care.
On August 24, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital had about 22 patients admitted, but on August 31, the number had shot up to 35. On August 24, Soroti Regional Referral Hospital had 72 patients, but on August 31, there were 85.

The senior presidential adviser on epidemics, Dr Monica Musenero early this week said that the country is already witnessing the signals of the third wave and said stopping or delaying its spread will depend on adhering to preventive measures and SOPs.

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