People in Quarantine to spend more 14 days, all to undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19

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People currently under institutional quarantine in Uganda will spend 14 more days in isolation, whether they have completed the 14-day mandatory period or not -the Ministry of Health said.

MOH says those who have completed the 14-day period will take the next 14-day self isolation in their homes. The adjustment in period of quarantine period is meant to avoid a scenario of people going out with the virus and transmitting it to communities.

In the national address made today, the Minister of Health Dr. Ruth Aceng said they will take another 14 days despite having symptoms or not.

Dr. Aceng said several of those under quarantine have had contact with cases who have tested positive, and the ministry has embarked on fresh mandatory testing for all people under quarantine to ascertain their status. She said the activity started yesterday and it will go on until all are confirmed safe. All 1015 under quarantine are to be tested.

She said MOH is conscious to the fact that people in quarantine are anxious to get out, but the current situation may not allow their release soon.

“It is a difficult situation we are in. And no one can say he or she is feeling the bitterness of the fact. we are all feeling the bitterness of it” she said.

On who will meet the costs, Dr. Aceng said MOH had initially fixed a $65 dollar bill for better accommodation but after complaints about affordability, they were forced to seek cheaper options as low as $35. She also noted that government pays for those who cannot afford to meet the costs.

The choice of staying at a more comfortable hotel lies with individuals. Dr. Aceng also noted that the MOH has embarked on mandatory testing for all people under quarantine, and others who willingly show up for testing. The tests however are free of charge.

She said having a negative test when one is asymptomatic doesn’t rule out chances of COVID-19. The tests should be repeated after about 7 days or so. She said since people will take long in quarantine, the ministry has adopted some school premises where a person can only cater for food.

The minister appealed to the public to remain calm and practice the given measures; wash your hands with soap and water, maintain social distance, cover your nose and mouth with a mask if you have any flue like symptoms

The public has been advised to reach teams at MOH using 919, and toll free lines 0800100066, 0800203033, 0800303033, or send Whatsup messages to 0770818139 for assistance.

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