During the Monday cabinet meeting, new measures were introduced to help strengthen the fight against Covid-19 which has so far claimed 75 lives in Uganda. The coronavirus has spread the disease to 7777 people and 4033 have recovered from the respiratory illness.
The new interventions and recommendations were tabled by both the Ministry of Health and the National Task Force on COVID- 19 Pandemic.
They are as below:
1. All arriving Travelers will be required to have a negative test on arrival (72hrs). For Travelers presenting with symptoms at the airport without a test result, a sample will be collected upon arrival and the individual asked to quarantine at their cost until the result is returned.
2. Responsibility of ensuring that Travelers are tested prior to travel will rest with the Airlines.
3. All arriving Travelers will no longer be subjected to institutionalized quarantine. They would be given guidance on the recommended procedures for self-quarantine where needed and for infection prevention.
4. Testing for any of the recent travelers will be symptom-based, in the event that they develop symptoms consistent with COVID -19.
5. Contacts will be advised to self-quarantine for 14 days and tested if symptomatic.
6. Contacts who are in the high-risk category will be prioritized for testing to ensure early diagnosis and management.
7. The most vulnerable individuals will be prioritized for tracking, testing and care if infected.
8. Self-isolation and self-management, under well-defined SOPs and clear referral pathways will be instituted for the asymptomatic non-high-risk individuals
9. Health facility-based isolation and care will be preserved for the moderately, severely and critically ill case-patients
10. Consideration will be made for auxiliary non-health-facility-based isolation and management of mild cases especially among the high-risk categories
11. Adjustments will be made to the duration of hospitalization/ institutional care, based on time and symptom-based discharge criteria spelt out in case management SOPs.
12. People have been advised to avoid visiting vulnerable relatives or hosting gatherings at their homes
13. Caretakers of the vulnerable groups have been urged to observe preventive measures at all times.
The minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba on Sunday noted that Uganda had entered a critical phase of the pandemic, which calls for a new approach to stem the spread of the virus.
While the East African nation recorded its first case of the virus in March, it instituted a number of measures, including a partial lockdown at an early stage, which limited the spread in the first seven months.
This has seen the county win global acclaim for efforts on combating the virus, which has severely wrecked economics globally. The Lancet medical journal has ranked Uganda among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of suppressing the spread of Covid-19 as of August 2020.
According to CNN, the ranking was based on the number of new coronavirus cases per million population per day, averaged over the 31 days of August, of countries with “sufficient data.”