KAMPALA – Uganda has registered the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19), Africa Tembelea has learnt.
Speaking to reporters Saturday night, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the coronavirus patient is a 36-year-old Ugandan male who arrived from Dubai on Saturday 21st March at 2am aboard Ethiopian Airlines.
Uganda confirms 1st case of COVID-19.
The confirmed case is a 36 year old Ugandan male who arrived from Dubai at 2:00am today, Saturday 21 March 2020 aboard Ethiopian airlines. He presented with symptoms of high fever and poor appetite. #STAYSAFEUG pic.twitter.com/He8a35Iq8U
— Ministry of Health- Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) March 21, 2020
Dr. Aceng said that during the screening process at the Airport, his temperature was 38.7 degrees centigrade. This prompted the health teams at the airport to isolate him for further follow up. Subsequent temperatures taken at intervals of 30 minutes and one hour remained the same.
According to the health Minister, the patient was then evacuated to Entebbe Grade B Hospital for further follow where a nasal swab was taken for analysis.
“The confirmed case presented with high fever and poor appetite. He is not coughing neither does he have flu,” said Dr. Aceng.
However, she said that the persistent fever prompted the health workers to isolate him.
“His nasal swab was sent to Uganda virus research institute (UVRI) for analysis. Results from UVRI showed that the sample is positive for COVID-19,” added Dr Aceng.
Africa Tembelea understands that the confirmed case had travelled to Dubai on 17 March 2020, that is four days ago for business purposes.
At the time of his travel, he is said to have been in good health. He is a resident of Kibuli, Kakungulu zone in Kampala.
The minister said that the patient under isolation at Entebbe Grade B Hospital is in a stable condition but still running a fever.
This confirmation of a COVID-19 case comes afew hours after President Museveni directed that all borders be closed and also banned entry of all International [commercial] flights, vehicles and water vessels into the country amid growing coronavirus fears.
According to President Museveni, effective tomorrow [Sunday] after midnight, the only flights that will be allowed into the country are cargo planes and emergency planes like UN planes carrying aid. Domestic flights can also continue.
However, the crews on these planes will be expected to undergo institutional quarantine.
Cargo vehicles will also be allowed to enter the country. However only three people will be allowed to enter the country per vehicle.