At least 310 ambulances have been deployed in different parts of Uganda to support the COVID-19 response team.
Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng on Thursday said the ambulances have been deployed at different levels.
“A total of 310 ambulances have been deployed at both central and district level for purposes of evacuating positive cases,” she said while giving a comprehensive update on the government’s efforts against the spread of coronavirus.
According to Dr Aceng, the lockdown was necessary to help government easily identify suspected cases in a bid to forestall the spread of the pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives globally.
By the time of filing this report, Uganda had confirmed 44 cases since March 21 when the first case was reported.
Dr Aceng also refuted reports that Uganda has registered a COVID-19 death.
“As of today (April 2), we cannot certainly say the number of cases we have in the country apart from the 44 confirmed cases that are in hospitals and undergoing treatment. That is part of the reason for the lockdown,” she said.
However, during the 14 days lockdown, the government will rapidly find and test suspected cases, according to the minister.
She said all confirmed cases will be isolated and treated while all those under institutional quarantine will also be tested and results returned to the district within 48 hours depending on the district’s proximity to Kampala.
Dr Aceng also revealed that there are a total of 480 ICU beds countrywide for critical cases but this number can increase with the addition from the private sector.
“Intensive Care Units for critical cases will mainly be handled at Mulago hospital which has 36 adult beds and 27 paediatric beds, Mulago Women’s Hospital has 35 adult beds and 30 paediatric beds while regional referral hospitals each have 10 beds,” she said.
At least 766 contacts to 44 confirmed cases were identified and are being followed up.
“As the country is confirming cases upcountry, we’ve decided to decentralise response teams so that people won’t have to travel to Kampala or Entebbe to be tested. You’ll be required to call the district health officer and your samples will be taken as you practice self-isolation,” she said. Positive cases have been identified in the districts of Kampala, Masaka, Adjumani, Hoima and Iganga.
She said anyone who has completed 14 days of quarantine will be tested on the 15th day and get into self-isolation for another 14 days to be doubly sure that the person is not spreading the virus.