By Leilah Bbaale
Experts have warned that Uganda should not jubilate about the recent low numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19 saying that the country could soon see a resurgence of high infection rates.
According to Ministry of Health results released on Tuesday, eight people tested positive for COVID-19 from 788 samples tested on Monday.
They also recorded three new deaths. The new cases brought the cumulative number of people testing positive to date to 40, 063.
On Sunday, only 36 new cases were recorded and 40 cases had been recorded, the day before.
For the whole of last week, there was no single day that the cases exceeded 40, yet the same can’t be said of December and November when single-day records could go to the highs of 400 new cases.
Speaking to Spice FM about the low cases, Dr Ayella Stephen Ataro, an epidemiologist said they shouldn’t make Ugandans loose guard and that they don’t necessarily mean we are defeating the virus. Ayella said the true picture of Uganda’s status can only be painted if mass testing is done.
His view is shared by Public Health Policy Expert, Dr Freddie Ssengoba who says daily tests should no longer be an appropriate tool for measuring the pandemic status.
With testing now being largely paid for, Ssengooba says a lot of people are falling sick and recovering without being traced.
He says most of the tests carried out now are for cosmetic compliance purposes for those aiming to travel or are about to meet VIPs.
Dr Henry Kajumbula, a microbiologist involved in COVID-19 treatment at Mulago Hospital agrees that recently, even the admissions at the hospital that was months ago overwhelmed with numbers have grossly gone down.
Meanwhile, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally has declined for the fifth consecutive week, the head of the UN health agency said on Monday, underscoring that “simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants.