COVID-19 CRISIS: Uganda’s coronavirus cases rise to 126 as more truck drivers test positive

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uganda have risen to 126 after after 4 new cases, all truck drivers tested positive for the virus.

The new cases are: 2 Ugandan truck drivers and 1 Kenyan truck driver who arrived via Elegu border.

The fourth cases is a Tanzanian Truck driver who arrived via Mutukula border post.

Their samples were among the 1478 that were tested on Tuesday at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe.

“Four new COVID-19 cases confirmed from 2,296 samples of truck drivers. This brings the total number of cases to 126 in Uganda. All 233 community samples have tested negative for COVID-19. Total samples tested today are 1711,” Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said in the latest update.

This brings the number of confirmed cases of Ugandan truck drivers to more than 13.

The drivers who tested positive have been coming from neighbouring countries.

To reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus by positive truck drivers, a virtual meeting convened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the current EAC Chairperson, the leaders agreed to prioritise the implementation of measures that will ensure uninterrupted cross-border movement of goods even as the region continues to battle COVID-19.

The leaders who also included Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan) acknowledged the challenge posed by cross-border trade in the fight against Coronavirus, especially the emergence of truck drivers as a high risk carrier population.

The Heads of State therefore tasked their respective state agencies responsible for health, transport and EAC affairs to roll-out border screening and testing measures especially for truck drivers that do not compromise cross-border movement of goods.

Ministry Health will also start on site testing at the Malaba and Mutukula border posts this week.

They are planning to use GeneXpert machines which will enable drivers leave points of entry with their results.

The machines are said to release results within an hour.

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