At least 23 more Ugandans have tested positive for Covid-19 as the country’s confirmed cases rose to 198 on Saturday.
The new cases come from 1,187 samples tested on Saturday at border points and the Uganda Virus Research Institute.
At least 19 of the new cases are Ugandan truck drivers who entered the country through the Elegu and Busia border points while four cases were from community infections.
According to the Ministry of Health, all the community cases are contacts of truck drivers who tested positive for the virus. At the time of testing, the four cases were under quarantine.
The government also blocked 38 truck drivers who tested positive at different points of entry.
This brings the number of drivers who have been sent back to 206 since the beginning of last week.
“Total samples tested today (Saturday) are 1,187. A total of 851 of these are samples from points of entry while 336 are community and contacts,” reads a statement posted on the Ministry of Health’s social media platforms.
On Friday, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told journalists that it is risky for Uganda to treat foreigners because this is likely to strain hospitals and also increase the risk of spreading the disease to Ugandans.
Uganda’s new cases come at a time when the number of cases reported on the African continent is on the rise.
Currently, there are 104,279 positive cases reported in Africa with 3,185 deaths and 41,717 recoveries.
South Africa and Egypt have the highest recorded cases at over 20,000 and 15,000 respectively.
Lesotho and Seychelles have the lowest cases reporting one and 11 cases respectively.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti says despite the rise in the number of cases, there is still hope that the effect of the disease on the continent might not be as dire as earlier predicted.
“For now Covid-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world. It is possible our youth dividend is paying off and leading to fewer deaths. But we must not be lulled into complacency as our health systems are fragile and are less able to cope with a sudden increase in cases,” Dr Moeti said.
Uganda has not recorded any death from the coronavirus.