KAMPALA – Uganda’s ministry of health has confirmed 19 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the cumulative national tally to 724.
The new cases are from the 2,212 samples tested on 1 June 2020.
According to Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services, all confirmed cases are Ugandans.
“Six of the new cases are truck drivers- four arrived from South Sudan via Elegu point of entry while two arrived from Kenya via Malaba point of entry,” Dr. Mwebesa said in a statement on Tuesday.
“13 of the confirmed cases are alerts and contacts to previously confirmed cases. These include 6 contacts from Jinja and two from Amuru, two from Kyotera, one from Tororo, one from Gulu and one from Wakiso districts,” he added.
Additionally, he revealed that 25 foreign truck drivers (13 Kenyans, 9 Tanzanians, 2 Burundians and 1 Congolese) tested positive for Covid-19 and were handed over to their country of origin.
To date, Uganda has registered a total of 351 covid-19 recoveries with no Covid-19 related deaths.
In a related development, researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug [steroid called dexamethasone] can improve COVID-19 survival.
The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only usual care. The drug was given either orally or through an IV.
After 28 days, it had reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen. It did not appear to help less ill patients.
“The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide,” Peter Horby of the University of Oxford, said in a statement.
Researchers estimated that the drug would prevent one death for every eight patients treated while on breathing machines and one for every 25 patients on extra oxygen alone.