Uganda's Virus Cases Rises, 8 More Cases Confirmed
March. 24, 2020
The minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng on Monday night urged Ugandans to stay calm and maintain hygiene after confirming eight new cases of coronavirus that has wreaked havoc across the world.
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Dr. Aceng told journalists in Kampala that Uganda's confirmed cases are now nine in total.
"All the eight cases are Ugandan nationals who traveled back from Dubai, UAE; two on March 20 and six on March 22, 2020, aboard the Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines flights. This brings the total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the country to nine," Dr. Aceng said.
All those who tested positive had a fever upon screening.
As of Monday, at least 2,661 travelers, including Ugandans had been identified as a potential risk and put either under self-quarantine or institutional quarantine, according to the minister.
"Of these, 1356 are under follow up; 774 of these are under institutional quarantine while 582 are under self-quarantine," she added.
According to her, a total of 1,305 high-risk travelers have completed their 14 days of follow up.
The first confirmed case is said to be stable at Entebbe Grade B Hospital.
"We have adequate testing kits. We have all the information about the passengers who traveled to Dubai. We have the manifest and all the necessary information," the minister said.
“We have all the information about the passengers who traveled to Dubai. We have the manifest and all the necessary information,” she added.
Dubai was earlier not reported as a high-risk country according to the international situation report.
“But from the statistics, we now call upon all those who traveled for Dubai in the last two weeks to call our health desk and be tested for their own safety and the safety of all other Ugandans,” Ms. Aceng added.
Within hours of the announcement, which will be enforced by Wednesday, the city's vast malls were already largely deserted, with corridors and concourses empty and shops devoid of customers.
Wholesale and retail trade represents a quarter of Dubai's GDP, worth in excess of $25 billion.
The health ministry and the disaster management authority said in a statement early Monday that the move to shut malls would come into force within 48 hours and last "for a renewable period of two weeks".
Dubai's vast shopping centers include Mall of the Emirates, which has its own indoor ski slope, and Dubai Mall which is one of the world's largest and is next to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest structure.
The coronavirus closures also come at a time when Dubai prepares for the global trade fair, Expo 2020, scheduled to open in October.
Organizers said on Sunday that they will "reassess and adjust" preparations due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Many of Dubai's economic forecasts had been based around the event and any decision to cancel or postpone it will be a heavy blow.
The emirate has spent tens of billions of dollars to develop its infrastructure and services to be ready to host the six-month fair, with the hope of attracting around 25 million visitors.
Dubai's bourse has also been hammered in the crisis, shedding a third of its value since the start of March. On Monday, it dipped 3.8 percent.