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UVRI Explains How Truck Driver Tested Positive in Uganda, Negative in Kenya

The standard news media of Kenya reported today that the Kenya Medical Research Institute had overturned COVID-19 test results on a Kenyan long-distance truck driver who was tested positive in Uganda while on transit a fortnight ago.
truck drivers stage peaceful strike at uganda south sudan border point of Elegu in Amuru district in March 2016. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) has explained circumstances under which a Kenyan truck driver who tested positive in Uganda emerged negative during subsequent tests in Kenya.

The standard news media of Kenya reported today that Kenya Medical Research Institute had overturned COVID-19 test results on a Kenyan long-distance truck driver who was tested positive in Uganda while on transit a fortnight ago.

The patient was tested at the Malaba border on May 3 while on his way to Tororo. On his way back to Mombasa on May 7, the Uganda authorities informed Kenya that he was positive.

However, a retest conducted by the Kenyan authorities showed no sign of the virus, hence overturning the Ugandan result casting doubt on the Ugandan results.

The Executive Director of the Uganda Virus Research institute Pontiano Kaleebu told a press conference this evening that scientifically, it is possible for someone to test positive and have a negative result afterwards. He says that the positivity comes when viraemia, which is the presence of viruses in the blood goes up and that usually comes two or three days after infection.

However, after 14 days the virus goes down, which however doesn’t mean that someone is negative until antibody tests prove so. He adds that the same patient had a positive result at the third round of testing.

//Cue in; “let me be…

Cue out…this is possible.”//

So far 63 patients have recovered from Coronavirus Disease in Uganda. The Country’s caseload stands at 139 cases, recorded mainly among truck drivers entering the country from Kenya and Tanzania.