Kabale, (UG): Panic erupted on Wednesday at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital after the hospital administration confirmed it had admitted five patients with Covid-19, as the coronavirus disease picks up steam in the Southwestern Uganda’s Kabale District
“Since the last week of December 2023 up to January 2024, we have registered 8 cases of covid-19. Currently, five patients are still admitted at the hospital. Many people have flu and cough but very few are coming to hospital for tests,” Dr. Anne Namutebi, a physician at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital revealed on Wednesday.
According to Dr Namutebi, most of the newly infected persons presented with flu-like symptoms, cough, and related conditions, before she called upon the public to protect themselves from contracting the virus since it is still around.
She partly attributed the new Covid cases to the large number of people who were not fully vaccinated while others were completely not vaccinated, noting this could explain the new wave.
The physician expressed disbelief that Covid-19 is likely to persist, comparing it to other influenza viruses adding that the hospital has now designated the medical ward as an isolation center for incoming Covid patients.
“We are hopeful that widespread vaccination will mitigate the impact, but unfortunately, many people in Uganda are not fully vaccinated, and some have not received any vaccination at all. Therefore, we anticipate continued variations of Covid-19 in our community,” she explained.
Alfred Besigensi, the Kabale District Health Educator, stressed the importance of public participation in vaccination and adherence to safety measures. “We urge the public to get vaccinated, practice mask-wearing, use sanitizers, and avoid crowded places to curb the virus’ spread,” he urged.
“For the first dose of vaccination, the turn up of people was very positive standing at 80% but when Covid reduced, people turning up for the booster doze was very low,” Besigensi added.
The District Epidemiologist at Kabale Hospital, Dr Henry Kanya said that 54 per cent of the population in the Kigezi sub-region, equivalent to 400,253 people, have received vaccination against the viral disease.
Is Covid still around?
Last year in May 2023, the World Health Organization Director-General declared the end of the global health emergency for COVID-19. He, however, clarified that this did not mean the virus was no longer a global health threat.
Instead, he advised countries to transition from emergency mode to managing Covid-19 alongside other infectious diseases.
As of November 2023, 72 per cent of people worldwide had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with 13.6 billion doses administered globally, significantly reducing severe illness and hospitalizations.
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