CORONAVIRUS: MOH to focus on curbing cross-border transmission during Lockdown extension

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Truck drivers and porous borders will be the focus of activity by MOH during the lockdown: File Photo

The Ministry of Health says during the lockdown period, efforts to fight coronavirus will focus on screening and testing of cargo transporters, and intensifying surveillance to fill all the existing gaps through which the virus can spread.

The COVID-19 response team said more emphasis will also be put on tracking and quarantining all exposed individuals as well as ensuring social distancing measures.

The health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said 2 Mobile PCR laboratories have been procured and will be received in the country tomorrow, which will be deployed at congested border points to quicken testing and return of results.

Dr. Aceng noted that screening and testing truck drivers has already started across the 53 points of entries according to MOH officials.

In addition, all regional and district referral hospitals in Uganda has been supported with various functions of surveillance, sample collection and testing, quarantine, risk communication and case management according to the minister.

People living along the roads including women have also been urged to stay away from truck drivers.

Dr Aceng reported that 3 truck drivers have so far been tested and found positive including 1 Ugandan, 1 Kenyan and 1 Tanzanian.

All entrants into the country must undergo mandatory tests and quarantined.

She reported that all staff in Entebbe hospital who have been taking care of patients have been screened for coronavirus and all tested negative. The process she said will be extended to all front-line teams, UN staff and all entrants into the country.

 MOH officials said there is always pressure from the population to lift the lockdown as early as possible, but it depends on the leaders to evaluate and assess the risks before this is done.

They said the lockdown has helped minimize moralities by almost 50 percent.

During the lockdown, members of the public have been advised not to accept visitors into their homes including neighbors, and ensure adequate social distancing with people they do not live with.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng appealed to Ugandans to adhere to the set guidelines and stay safe despite the effects of the lockdown.

The public is also advised to report all suspected cases of coronavirus using toll-free lines: 0800 100 066, 0800 203 033 and 0800 303 033 for swift assistance from surveillance teams.

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