The government of Uganda has set up an inter-ministerial committee under the leadership of the prime minister to oversee the coordination of the preparedness activities against the spread of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) that has killed close to 500 people globally.
The minister for health Dr JaneRuth Aceng who pronounced the establishment of the inter-ministerial committee also said that her ministry has ‘developed a preparedness plan costed at Shs25bn for handling the threat of the epidemic.’
She said that Uganda has intensified its vigilance to quickly identify any suspected cases of coronavirus by enhancing the surveillance and reporting systems. A screening station has been set up at Entebbe International Airport and other national border entries.
Dr Aceng also revealed that health workers across the country and points of entry have been guided on how to identify, isolate, investigate and care for the suspected persons.
They have also been told how to report such cases and how to employ the standard infection prevention and control measure to avoid contracting the disease.
“All travellers arriving into the country will be screened and more emphasis will be put on those travelling in from China. All Ugandan nationals and foreigners travelling from China will undergo screening,” the minister said.
“Those found with signs and symptoms will be quarantined in the Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital and China-Uganda Friendship Hospital Naguru. Those without visible symptoms will be isolated and quarantined in their house after sensitization,” she added.
“Even without symptoms, infected persons may be infectious but this is in rare cases. They will be followed up for 14 days by our surveillance officers who will monitor them for signs and symptoms of the 2019-nCov on a daily basis,” she explained.
The minister further explained that after the 14 days, quarantined persons will only be released by the surveillance officers upon certification that they are okay.
She added that all travellers arriving into the country from China and the 23 countries with confirmed cases will be required to provide their personal details for purposes of follow up by the health workers and immigration officers carrying out the screening.
“We appealed to travellers to exercise discipline, care, compassion and responsibility when isolated,” the minister said.
Traces of coronavirus was first detected in China in December 2019. The virus has gone to spread to 25 other countries claiming the lives of 494 people in China. Infections outside China has risen to 156 and 24, 600 inside China.
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