KAMPALA – Uganda’s Ministry of Health has registered 7 new coronavirus cases pushing the country’s tally to 686.
The new cases are out of 2,532 samples tested on Thursday from border points of entry and the community.
According to Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, three of the new cases were among 1,310 samples tested from truck drivers who came in through points of entry. Among these were two (2) from Malaba point of entry while one was from Mutukula point of entry.
Other four (4) new cases were tested from 1,164 samples of alerts and contacts. Among these were 2 from Tororo, 1 from Kyotera and 1 from Gulu District.
“All 58 samples of health workers tested negative,” said Dr. Aceng.
The minister also revealed that 18 foreign truck drivers (8 Kenyans, 4 Tanzanians, 2 Congolese, 2 South Sudanes and 2 Eritreans) were handed back to their respective countries of origin upon testing positive for the virus.
To-date, the total number of recoveries registered stands at 161 with no Covid-19 related deaths.
Relatedly, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) in conjunction with Makerere University School of Public Health have unveiled a low cost medical ventilator.
The ventilator, named bulamu, was manufactured using pipes, plumbing equipment, metals, which were locally sourced and developed by researchers at Makerere University.
Speaking at the launch of the ventilator on Thursday, June 11, Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Aceng, said the production of the ventilator is timely since Uganda is hosting patients at Namboole Stadium as the COVID-19 case figures keep rising.
“If many of you have been following closely what is happening in other countries, you see that not all patients are managed in a hospital setting. About 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and moderate, while 20% progress to severe. If our set up was in such a way that we had homes that are self-contained, we would actually manage patients at home,” Dr. Aceng said.
“It is better to remove patients from communities to prevent infections,” she added.
– Ventilator –
Africa Tembelea has learnt that the initiative to manufacture ventilators came from Vincent A. Sembatya, the Director for Quality Assurance at Makerere University.
The ventilator costs slightly lower than $4,000, which is more than six times less than the cost of a ventilator at the international market. It will support the management of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome caused by the coronavirus.