Reports indicate that the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen to 490 after more deaths were reported in Hubei province. There are now more than 24,600 cases in China alone, with a much smaller number of cases in about 25 other countries around the globe.
Government has approved a request
for funds worth 25 billion Shillings to go towards preparedness efforts against
coronavirus, a disease that started in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei
Province in China.
Reports indicate that the death
toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen to 490 after
more deaths were reported in Hubei province. There are now more than 24,600 cases in China alone,
with a much smaller number of cases in about 25 other countries around the
Two people have died of the
disease outside of mainland China - one in Hong Kong and one in The Philippines, barely a week after the World Health Organisation declared the
disease a global health emergency.
Uganda has not yet recorded a
case of coronavirus, although a number of people who have travelled to China,
including some four Chinese nationals have been isolated. But the government
says steps need to be taken to keep the virus at bay.
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng
has said that although the Ministry of Finance had indicated to parliament on
Tuesday that this money wasn’t available, it was finally approved during a
meeting held this afternoon.
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During a press conference held this
evening, the minister said that part of the money goes into stocking the
isolation centres at Naguru and Entebbe Referral Hospitals while other funds
will go into screening activities at the border points, Entebbe Airport and
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According to Dr Yona Tegnen
Woldermariam, the World Health Organization Uganda Country Representative, the
organization recommends isolation and close monitoring for everyone who has
recently traveled to China.
In Uganda, the Ministry is
encouraging self-quarantine where people who have travelled are supposed to
isolate themselves from their homes for a period of 14 days. During the period
of isolation, health officials will be making spot checks on them until they
are declared okay.
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The Minister said that scientists
are yet to establish how long the virus lasts outside the body before spreading
to another person and that this is the reason as to why they are discouraging
handshakes and use of masks in public places since even without symptoms, a person could likely be infectious.
The World Health Organization
notes that their scientists are still studying the samples provided by the
government of China to understand the virus better and establish all the
information about it since it was just discovered last year in humans.
They say once there is enough
information, ways to limit its transmission will be developed and popularized.
While the current understanding of the disease remains limited, most cases
reported to date have been milder according to experts, with around 20 per cent
of those infected experiencing severe illness.
A person with Coronavirus,
experts say present with flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, and shortness in breath
and in severe cases the sufferer develops pneumonia, severe acute respiratory
syndrome and kidney failure.