Up to 69 per cent of the 15,248 new Covid-19 cases detected in Uganda were reported in the last 10 days, the Daily Monitor has established.
The statistics from the country’s Ministry of Health for the period between June 3 and 12 indicate that 10,491 cases were reported, compared to the previous 10 days (May 24-June 2), where only 4,757 cases were reported.
The cumulative Covid-19 cases in Uganda now stand at 60,250.
The statistics indicate that of the 65 deaths registered across the country in the last 20 days (May 24-June 12), 90 per cent (58) occurred in the last 10 days.
The total fatalities from Covid-19 in Uganda are 423, with 15 new deaths being reported on June 12 alone.
This comes a few days after President Yoweri Museveni reinstated a lockdown, closing schools, banning inter-district travel and public gatherings, among others, for 42 days. The lockdown is aimed at curbing the surge in infections and deaths.
On June 12, 1,735 cases were detected from 9,494 samples that were taken, with Kampala lading with 1,117 cases (64 per cent), followed by Wakiso (171), Gulu (111), Mbarara (61), Luwero (46), and Masaka (26).
Dr Moses Muwanga, the director of Entebbe Grade B Hospital, one of the major Covid-19 treatment centres in the country, told Daily Monitor Sunday that the hospital is full to capacity with Covid-19 patients.
“We have around 130 Covid-19 patients at the hospital. The beds are full. We have a mixture of young and old people who are very sick,” he said without giving details.
According to the Ministry of Health, over 788 Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe disease are currently admitted to hospitals. Another 11,302 Covid-19 patients are being treated from home.
Health workers overstretched
Dr Richard Idro, the president of the Uganda Medical Association, said health workers are overstretched and that the country is headed for an oxygen crisis as it happened during the Covid-19 surge in India.
“Severely sick Covid-19 patients require a lot of oxygen; these large cylinders of medical oxygen cannot support them. If we allow this disease to go out of hand, we shall run out of medical oxygen in the country and we will lose very many people,” he said.
Most regional referral hospitals and Mulago National Referral Hospital have oxygen plants and they are producing medical oxygen. There are also some private facilities which are supporting the government with oxygen, according to the Ministry of Health.
“The oxygen supply is there but it is low when compared to the number of critically ill Covid-19 patients and we are afraid that the hospitals and health workers will become overwhelmed,” Dr Idro said.
“Please stay at home, protect yourself and wash your hands. Eat well, sleep adequately and sunbathe, especially in the mid-morning, to get Vitamin D so as to strengthen your immunity,” the Uma president advised.