All 63 samples test negative, Namboole to turn into hospital

All yesterday’s 63 suspected coronavirus have tested negative at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), ministry of Health has announced.

The ministry says 1,510 samples have been tested to date and 44 of these have tested positive. 1,002 are under followup – 695 who were in contact with the positive cases.  

In neighboring Kenya, 22 new cases were recorded rising their national tally to 81. Rwanda’s cases have risen to 82 after 7 new confirmed cases were registered today. Three of Rwanda’s new cases were contacts from previously confirmed cases. 

Tanzania today also registered one new case, rising its national tally to 20. On the global scale, confirmed cases rose to 911,578. The USA recorded 463 deaths today, Italy 727 deaths, Spain 589 deaths, Germany 83 deaths, Iran 138 deaths, UK 563 deaths, Belgium 123 deaths, Netherlands 134 deaths, Algeria 14 deaths.

Also, Morocco registered one death today, Tunisia two deaths while Burkina Faso lost two to coronavirus, Senegal one death, DR Congo and Mali one death each.

NAMBOOLE TO TURN INTO HOSPITAL

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Diana Atwine said today Wednesday that they are planning to turn Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) in Kireka into a health facility if the number of COVID-19 cases in the country increase.

Atwine was appearing before the parliamentary committee on the budget. The committee was scrutinizing the supplementary request of Shs 284 billion (later increased to Shs 300bn) to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus.

Atwine, who was responding to questions from MPs in regards to their preparations to handle the cases in case they rise, said that at the moment, they are handling all cases of coronavirus from Entebbe Grade B hospital and Mulago hospitals.

She says however if the two facilities get filled up, they are already making arrangements to have Namboole turned into a health facility. Several countries like the United States of America, Italy, China and Spain among others that have been hardly hit by the coronavirus are currently suffering from lack of hospital space, ventilators and protective gears.

Several countries have made makeshift health facilities, while others are constructing and have launched hospitals to handle the corona virus situation. 

HAJJ PILGRIMAGE SUSPENDED

Spain announced Wednesday it surpassed 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, while a senior Saudi official urged people planning to make the hajj pilgrimage to hold off on deciding for now.

Spain is one of the global hot spots for the virus, trailing only the United States and Italy in terms of number of cases.  Wednesday’s announcement also included a death toll that now stands at more than 9,000.

Muslim pilgrims are due to descend on Saudi Arabia from all over the world in late July to perform the once-in-a-lifetime religious duty.  But with the virus pandemic, and Saudi Arabia already banning entry to Mecca and Medina, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten told state television people should wait for more clarity on the situation.

In the United States, officials say Americans should be prepared for a potential 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the corona virus, while stressing the need to keep social distancing measures in place to give the best chance of lessening the toll. 

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