Panic hits Oyam as two schools register 80 Covid-19 cases

OYAM | NORTHERN UGANDA: Panic and tension have hit Oyam District after an escalating coronavirus scare returned 202 new cases of Covid-19 in a span of three weeks, with two schools hit 80 positive cases of those.

The district authorities say the disease was first recorded at Aber Primary School after a parent tested Covid-19 positive. The parent’s child, who is a pupil at the school, also later tested positive before the disease spread to other learners. The school has now reported 63 cases.

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Ms Caroline Agaro, the assistant district health officer (DHO), who is also the area focal person for the Covid-19, said Aber Sub-county, where the school is located, has registered 110 cases of Covid-19.

“The 63 cases at Aber Primary School include pupils, teachers and support staff, but most of them are asymptomatic. They don’t have any serious illness apart from one person from the community whom we referred to the hospital [for proper management],” Ms Agaro said in an interview with the press on Wednesday.

She revealed that an additional 21 cases have been recorded at Kamdini Primary School. But she said both Kamdini and Aber primary schools have remained operational.

When asked if the covid-19 scare will prompt closure of schools temporarily, she said they have not made a decision on that yet, and therefore schools are still open.

“We have not closed the two schools but those who tested positive are staying in isolation at their homes. Those in boarding sections are in isolation at the school and we are monitoring them but they are all fine except a few who are having some mild fever,” she explained.

Aber Primary School has a total of about 500 pupils from Primary Four to Primary Six, and all of them have been tested for Covid- 19, including their teachers, according to Ms. Agaro

This comes at a time when the Ministry of Health has warned that the country is entering the second wave of the pandemic, which they predict may be more disastrous than the first wave.

The government has warned of tough containment measures, including possibility of a total lockdown, if the situation goes out of hand.

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, on Wednesday said the resurgence is presenting with rising cases of infections among children.

“We have started to experience a significant increase in cases of Covid-19 among the 10-29 age group. We registered a 12 per cent increase in cases among children aged 10-19 years and 5 per cent increase in those aged 20-29,” she told journalists.

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