Uganda’s cumulative cases of Covid-19 now stand at 74 after the country confirmed 11 new cases on Thursday.
In a tweet on Thursday night, the Ministry of Health indicated that all the 11 new cases are Kenyan and Tanzanian truck drivers.
They include 6 Tanzanians who arrived via Mutukula Border Post and 5 Kenyans who came through Malaba and Busia.
The development now brings the country’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 74. The number of recoveries stands at 46.
On Wednesday, Uganda confirmed two coronavirus cases both Tanzanian truck drivers including a 43 year old Tanzanian male, who arrived from Tanzania on April 17. He was a contact of the Tanzanian truck driver who tested positive on the same date as they had travelled in the same vehicle.
The second case was a 35 year old truck driver who arrived at Mutukula border post from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He did not have any signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the public in Uganda is increasingly getting agitated in light of the recent trend in Covid cases many of whom are cargo truck drivers.
Many have expressed their concern on social media, saying it is retrogressive for Ugandans to do their part by observing stay-home orders only for foreigners to import the disease and spread it into the country.
Some are proposing that these truck drivers be allowed into the country only after their test results have been established.
Health officials have continued to say compelling the trucks to wait at the border points would result into congestion which is a risk factor for Covid transmission.
Julius Mucunguzi, who Heads Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, told SoftPower News on Thursday that the concerns (on truck drivers) have indeed been brought to the attention of the National Task Force on Covid-19 which is headed by PM Ruhakana Rugunda.
“The feedback (from the public) is being received and it is a concern for everyone. Every new infection is a concern whether it’s a Ugandan or a truck driver,” Mucunguzi said.
“The matter of the risk of truck drivers has been raised in the Task Force meetings and if any decision is taken, it will be announced”.
He acknowledged that some proposals have been made during the meetings on how to handle the issue.
When contacted by this news website on the issue, Don Wanyama, the Press Secretary to the President, said “the President gave his position in his previous address”.
“The President gets daily briefings from the National Task Force and health experts. I don’t know because I don’t attend those meetings,” Wanyama responded, asked whether any new measures have been proposed to the President.
However, Trade Minister, Amelia Kyambadde says the logical thing to do is to have the truck drivers tested from their points of origin.
“I think they should be checked from their origin point and the results are sent electronically to their country of destination. That’s our view as Trade,” Kyambadde told SoftPower News Thursday.
“We have noted the concerns from the public. We have a meeting tomorrow with transporters, URA, Security and Health. We shall come up with a solution,” she added.
On the proposal of testing the drivers at the border points and have them wait for the results, the Minister insists “24 hours it too long, it will be too much congestion”.