The Ministry of Health has on Monday May 4 night reported eight new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing Uganda’s total to 97.
The minister reported via her official Twitter handle that out of 2,061 samples taken on the day, six foreign cargo truck drivers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the borders with Kenya and Tanzania, while the other two was a Ugandan truck driver and a community case from Kyotera, central Uganda.
Increasing cases of community infections had seen Uganda extend the current lockdown by another 14 days announced by President Museveni on Monday.
“5 truck drivers arrived via Malaba border post while 1 arrived via Mutukula point of entry,” the Ministry said.
It added that efforts to track the drivers are underway.
Normally the drivers are allowed to continue with their journeys after the samples are taken.
On community cases, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said one case is a resident of Kyotera District south of the country while the other is a Ugandan truck driver from Mutukula.
“Both community cases were confirmed through the Rapid Risk Assessment ongoing countrywide,” she said, a day President Museveni announced adjustment to the lockdown measures, which only a select number of activities allowed to either continue operating or resume operations.
On the issue of truck drivers, Museveni said he has engaged his East African counterparts to have the matter streamlined.
He also plans to engage his South Sudanese (Salva Kiir) and DR Congolese (Félix Tshisekedi) counterparts.
The matter of the truck drivers has, according to President Museveni, been a good thing of sorts.
“It has exposed the irrationality of using lorries for transporting cargo. It is cheaper and safer to use railway and water transport where they are available,” he said.
The advantages include no cargo theft, no spreading of diseases and no damaging of roads.
“So there is every reason to get rid of these lorries,” Museveni added.