KAMPALA – Uganda’s health ministry has revised the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 685 contrary to what was reported earlier. The revision from 694 to 685 Covid-19 cases comes after President Museveni accused Makerere University laboratory of faking coronavirus test results.
Speaking during the budget reading event on Thursday, Mr. Museveni said the incorrect results from Makerere lab could have been caused by work overload.
“Some of the 679 confirmed cases were classified as positive when they are not by a laboratory in Makerere because they were careless. Apparently there were a few people working there and probably got tired,” the President said.
In putting the record straight, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng while updating the nation on Saturday, June 13, said nine negative cases that had erroneously been recorded as positive to Covid-19 have been discounted from the national tally.
The minister explained that between June 3 and 4, a batch of 50 samples from within Kampala area was analysed at Makerere University Laboratory and yielded results that were detected as positive.
She also noted that when the batch was retested, nine of the previously confirmed cases were found to be negative and the individuals were informed.
“As part of routine quality assurance procedures, some samples were sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for re-testing. There was discordance in some of the samples in this batch. This then required the entire batch to be retested,” the minister said.
“This discrepancy was also brought to the attention of the president,” she added.
According to Dr. Aceng, errors in handling test samples is not uncommon in laboratory management.
“That is why multiple tests are done and there is provision for second and third parties to do confirmatory tests on the same samples if need arises,” she said.
In a related development, Lira Regional Referral Hospital has discharged all 20 patients who were previously diagnised with the respiratory disease. They were successfully treated and have since tested negative twice for COVID-19. This brings the total number of recoveries registered in Uganda to 219 with no Covid-19 related deaths.