Uganda Frees From Covid-19 Third Wave

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Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

From late December 2021, Uganda was challenged with the surfacing of the new omicron wave of the Coronavirus. The country’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 1%, leading health minister Dr. Jane Aceng to declare the country is out of the third wave.

The positivity rate is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive.

“Today, we are out of the third wave and the positivity rate is low at 1%. There is no district in alert phase and no district in the response phase,’’ Aceng said while receiving a donation of 1,000 oxygen cylinders from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of Denmark at the health ministry headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday, February 15.

Between December 2021 and January 2022, the country registered more than 32,067 COVID-19 cases and more than 246 deaths. Now with 862 cases and 37 deaths reported in February and a positivity rate of one percent, officials from the ministerial COVID-19 scientific task force, say the third wave of the virus has come to an end.

On Tuesday, Aceng said there are only a few pockets of infection mainly in about four districts — Kabarole, Mpigi, Kampala, and Wakiso — with attack rates of 10 to 20 cases per day.

“This does not mean to go out and do whatever you want but to observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs). The economy is fully open; we don’t want to go back to the difficult days of lockdown. It is me and you to show responsibility and seriousness and observe SOPs even as we increase the vaccination coverage,’’ the health minister said.

The Government targeted vaccinating about 21.9 million Ugandans against COVID-19. Tuesday’s daily report from the health ministry indicated that 15,610,547 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered across the country.

Dr. Aceng while receiving the donation from WHO, Aceng commended Ugandans for the positive response towards the vaccination drive, saying currently of those eligible for vaccination, 65% have received their first dose while 40% got the second dose.

Uganda experienced a great shortage of oxygen gas, and the ministry ensured the shortage will never occur again. The government has procured and received over 7,000 oxygen cylinders into the country which have been distributed to various hospitals.

The Amref Health Africa – Uganda in partnership with American Tower Corporation (ATC) has donated 88 medical oxygen cylinders, together with their accessories worth $45,000.

Handing over the cylinders to the director-general of health services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, ATC Uganda’s Mark Turyamureba said the company desires that the communities where they have operations remain healthy.

ATC Uganda and Amref Health Africa – Uganda will enable the gas supply for three hospitals — Kiruddu, Arua, and Gulu regional referral hospitals.

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