8 contacts test positive as Uganda records 31 new COVID-19 cases, rising infection to 253

Uganda’s Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

KAMPALA — Uganda has recorded 31 new cases of the coronavirus bringing the number of infections to 253 on Tuesday.

The Ministry revealed that 23 of the new cases are truck drivers whilst 8 are previous contacts of truck drivers who were under quarantine at the time that they were tested.

The new cases were part of 1,116 samples that were tested today.

A total of 20 truck drivers including (16 Tanzanians and 4 Kenyans) who tested positive for the virus were yesterday handed over to authorities.

The newly launched laboratories to test for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in different parts of the country, at the border points and in Kampala cannot conduct as many tests as promised because of lack of reagents, the Ministry of Health revealed on Tuesday.

While they had promised weeks ago that up to 10,000 samples would be tested, the daily results released by the Ministry of Health show the samples tested to range between 1,000 and 2500 just as has been.

Only last Thursday for the first time there was a recorded 2,729 cases tested, a number that can be done by Uganda Virus Research Institute alone.

When this was put to Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, she said some of the labs including the mobile ones at the border of Uganda and Kenya in Malaba and the one on the border of Uganda with South Sudan at Elegu have not yet started tests even as everything is intact. She said they are awaiting for reagents.

She revealed that as Uganda, there’s nothing that can be done now since the lack of reagents is a global challenge whereby even the orders are reviewed by an established global consortium to assess each countries need.

The GenExpert COVID-19 testing machine in use

Commenting about the same, the Permanent secretary Dr. Diana Atwiine said that currently most of the samples are mainly tested from the Uganda Virus Research Institute and the National Public Health Laboratories in Butabika.

She said if they had test kits, they would be testing more samples, although she notes that in the near future the number of daily tests could even go further down.

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