Uganda registers first Covid-19 death

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, director general health services

The ministry of health on Thursday confirmed the first death from Covid-19.

The ministry says a 34-year-old Ugandan, who resided in Namisindwa District, succumbed to the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus and was buried today.

At first, the ministry had said she was Kenyan but further probe into the matter discovered she was Ugandan.

“In our earlier report we had indicated that the deceased was not a Ugandan. Further investigations have since established that she was a Ugandan from Manafwa, Bubulo East, Namabya- Namunyali- Sisongofwa,” the ministry said.

“The postmortem samples from the deceased were confirmed positive for SARS-COV-2 by 4 laboratories: UVRI, CPHL, Tororo and Makerere. In addition, findings at postmortem showed features of acute pneumonia; findings that are consistent with COVID-19 infection.”

She had shown COVID like signs and symptoms: fever, dry cough, headache and difficulty in breathing.

The Director General of Health Services Henry Mwebesa says the deceased was initially admitted to Wasungui HC II on Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 and treated for severe pneumonia.

However, on Monday, 20th July, 2020, she was transferred to Joy Hospice health facility, in Mbale District, where she was isolated in the female ward.

While in isolation, the patient’s condition deteriorated with difficulty in breathing, cough, chills and headache.

She died on Tuesday at 2am.

She was buried on 23rd July 2020 as per Safe Dignified Burial procedures, Dr. Mwebesa said.

The Namasindwa District Task Force has been reactivated to coordinate the district response.

So far,  30 contacts to the deceased have been listed and placed under quarantine by the health authorities in Namisindwa and Mbale districts.

The listed contacts so far include family members, and healthcare workers.

“The process of contact identification and listing is still ongoing, and we believe the number of contacts may increase as the extensive epidemiological investigation evolves,” the ministry said.

“The contacts will be monitored daily for fourteen (14) days as per our protocol by district surveillance teams supported by Ministry of Health experts who will be deployed in the district. Per our protocol, the contacts are only retired from the contact list after testing negative for COVID-19 after the mandatory 14-day follow up.”

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