As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, new decisions and innovations continue to be brought as the fight against the pandemic rages on. There were country wide national prayers that were conducted on the 29th August 2020, which had also been declared a Public holiday by the President pursuant to section 2(2) of the Public Holidays Act.
The Ministry of Health has reduced the number of days COVID-19 positive patients are always admitted in treatment and isolation facilities. The days have been reduced from 18 to 12. When patients test negative for the disease after 10 days, they will be discharged. The total recoveries currently stand at 1,288.
The Director of Clinical Services at Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Olar who also doubles as head of COVID-19 treatment centers says they have decided to make the change following WHO recommendations. Olaro adds that the move will reduce the high number of patients admitted in treatment facilities especially hospitals.
“Patients will be tested twice for the disease before they are discharged. The first test will take place before admission and another test on the 10th or 11th day of admission. Once the second test comes back negative, patients will then be discharged”, Dr Olaro said.
According to Dr William Worodria, the Ministerial COVID-19 case manager, the reduction in the number of days will reduce congestion at health facilities.
“Evidence has shown that someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and receives treatment will test negative for the virus after 10 days. So if you test negative, there’s no reason why you need to remain admitted,” Dr Worodria said.
The change in the number of treatment days comes as health workers are urging the government to include home care in their treatment plan.
While home care would reduce COVID-19 admissions, Dr Olaro says that they are skeptical on whether it can be implemented in the country. Dr Olaro says that controlling patients would be almost next to impossible which might to further spread of the disease.
As if that is not enough, a COVID-19 testing fee of UGX 240,500 has been introduced by Government for all tests done at organisations and private centres that want their staff tested.
In a statement by the Uganda Media Centre, the money that is an equivalent of USD 65 will be paid in a provided bank account in Stanbic before one proceeds to have their staff tested.
This, the Ministry says, will help the country acquire more test kits for the COVID-19 tests.
As of today, 1,468 confirmed cases are receiving treatment and are isolated at hospitals but less than 20 per cent of them have moderate or severe forms of COVID-19.
The country’s cumulative total confirmed cases increased by 91 to 2,847 from the 4,475 samples tested on Friday. The new cases include 88 contacts and alerts, one health worker from Luweero and two truck drivers.