Uganda decries COVID-19 case spikes as patients overwhelm hospitals

Uganda late on Monday said hospitals in the East African country are overwhelmed by a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said in a statement that the major transmissions remained in the capital city of Kampala as well as the metropolitan area. The country’s northwestern, eastern and northeastern parts also remained hotspots. 

“With the current trend of infected cases increasing daily, the health system is overwhelmed and stretched as we continue to admit more patients with severe forms of COVID-19,” said Dr Aceng.

“It is evident that the deaths will continue to increase if we don’t adhere to the standard operating procedures that the government has instilled.”

As of Monday, Uganda had registered a total of 14,574 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases, 7,771 recoveries and 133 deaths since the index case was reported on March 21, the minister said, adding that 971 health workers had contracted COVID-19, with at least nine succumbing to the respiratory disease. 

“This is a significant number,” said Dr Aceng. “I would like to appeal to all our health workers to wear personal protective equipment and follow infection, prevention and control measures at all times.”

Meanwhile, Uganda revised regulations on meetings, rallies, gatherings and weddings late on Monday, raising the number of attendees to 200 from a previous limit of 70.

The easing comes as campaigns for the 2021 general elections have kicked off in the country. 

Dr Aceng emphasised strict adherence to two meters of social distancing and consistent wearing of face masks. 

“All aspiring politicians should ensure that their gatherings are limited to 200 people at most and everyone must wear a face mask at all times, maintain a physical distance and make available hand washing facilities with soap and water,” the minister said. -Xinhua 

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