Highlights of the Health sector weekly press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre
TIME: 11:00Am Date 2nd September, 2021
Update on the COVID-19 response and vaccination in the Country
Today, the Ministry of Health spokesperson was accompanied by his counterparts from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Kampala Capital Authority (KCCA) and National Drug Authority (NDA) to communicate on arising issues on the COVID-19 response and the ongoing vaccination.
The Ministry of Health updated the general public on both the COVID-19 Response and Vaccination exercise in the Country as highlighted below;
As of 31st of August, the Ministry of Health had registered 120, 208 COVID-19 cases cumulatively since March 2020, out of which 95,590 recoveries have been registered and 3031 people have succumbed due to COVID-19.
The Ministry is currently monitoring an increase in COVID-19 transmission in some parts of the country like Teso Sub-region in the districts of Soroti, Serere, Ngora, Serere, Kumi and Bukedea. Other parts of the country registering an increase in COVID-19 are the districts of Rubanda, Kabale, Koboko, Obongi, Rukiga, among others. The Ministry of Health working with partners has already deployed a surge team to support the districts in containing the building clusters.
Similarly, there is a WhatsApp message making rounds claiming that the country has already entered the third wave, a claim that is not true. We continue to observe a decline in the number of cases. The circulating WhatApp message claims that Mulago National Referral Hospital is full to capacity, which is not true. Mulago Hospital has in the past week been having an average of 24 patients admitted and receiving COVID-19 treatment. As of 31st August, active admissions in both public and private health facilities stood at 449 patients, out of which 26 cases were admitted with private facilities.
Genomic Surveillance and Variant Strains
The Uganda Virus Research Institute has been undertaking genomic surveillance to understand the variant strains behind the COVID-19 cases in Uganda. The Ministry has also been screening travelers arriving through Entebbe International Airport. Between 12th May and 8th August, 318 travelers were found positive.
For instance, 96 samples were sequenced through UVRI, out of which 13 samples yielded sufficient PCR products for sequencing. All yielded the Delta variant which mirrors the picture across the globe.
Testing at Entebbe International Airport and points of entry
An inter-ministerial committee convened by the Prime Minister has today postponed for two weeks an earlier recommendation by the Ministry of Health of testing all arriving travelers at Entebbe International Airport and others points of entry, pending a visit to the airport and testing site by the inter-ministerial committee led by the Prime Minister. This means that the Ministry will not implement this new measure aimed at testing all in-coming travelers on 3rd September as earlier communicated. The status quo remains.
Update on Vaccination
As of 31st August, a total of 1,376,986 people had received their COVID-19 vaccines. Out of this, 977,889 received their 1st dose, and 399,097 people received the second dose. More details on the vaccination of priority groups will be provided following the data capture process.
Adherence to Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and COVID-19 preventive measures
The Ministry of Health has noted that some members of the public are flouting the various measures instituted to control the spread of COVID-19. For example, some hangouts (bars and nightclubs) which are still closed under the statutory instrument by the Minister of Health are operating illegally and thus putting lives of people at a risk of contracting the virus.
We appeal to the general population to take individual responsibility by observing the various COVID-19 preventive measures.
Mr. Emmanuel Ainebyoona
Senior Public Relations Officer
For further Information, contact Emmanuel Ainebyoona– Senior Public Relations Officer on +256779220588 or or toll free line 0800100066