As of 29 June, Uganda reported a cumulative total of 899 COVID-19 cases, including 819 recoveries and zero deaths. Of all the reported cases, 27 were of frontline health workers and 55 were of children. Cumulatively, 192,813 people have been tested for COVID-19.
Following a directive from the President on 22 June 2020, schools will remain closed. The Government of Uganda plans to launch a nationwide long-distance education programme using radio, with each homestead receiving a radio set.
During this reporting period, 769,084 women and children (383,004 male, 386,080 female) were reached with essential health services; 78,393 primary caregivers of children received counselling on infant and young child feeding (IYCF); and 5,810 pregnant women living with HIV continued to receive antiretrovirals (ARVs) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and for their own health.
Since the beginning of the response, 7,461,135 people (3,805,178 male, 3,655,957 female) were reached with COVID-19 prevention messages, while 2,126 children, parents and primary caregivers were supported with community-based mental health psychosocial support (MHPSS) services.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF Uganda is appealing for US$15 million to support the government response to COVID-19. UNICEF has so far received US$4.2 million through generous contributions, leaving a funding gap of US$10.8 million or 72 per cent.
To help support Uganda’s immediate COVID-19 response needs, UNICEF has drawn on other resources, reprogrammed existing funds, and reallocated its regular resources, totalling US$2.1 million, to procure urgent emergency supplies and support national and district coordination and programming.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
As of 29 June, the Government of Uganda reported a cumulative total of 889 COVID-19 cases among nationals and 1,200 cases among foreigners. Among Ugandans, a total of 55 children have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 27 frontline workers, 18 soldiers, and five police officers. Since the start of the epidemic, Uganda has reported zero COVID-19 deaths and 819 recoveries. During this reporting period, Uganda registered the first case of COVID-19 in a high dependency unit where the patient improved without requiring intensive care management. The majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uganda continue to be male (86 per cent), with 62 per cent (551) of all cases imported by travelers and cross-border truck drivers from neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. COVID-19 hot-spots include border districts with high-volume points-of-entry from South Sudan, Tanzania, and Kenya. Other hot-spots include Kampala, island districts, and fishing communities with active trading links to Tanzania and Rwanda.
During the reporting period, Uganda began receiving nationals returning from 66 countries and recorded a high positivity rate among returnees from Afghanistan. In addition, the country opened its borders to asylum-seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Upon entering the country, these groups are tested for COVID-19 and are put into a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine.
As of June 29, Uganda had conducted a cumulative total of more than 192,800 tests. Testing covers all people who meet the case definition, contacts of positive cases, health workers and other first responders, asylum-seekers, and truck drivers, among others.
As part of the COVID-19 suppression strategy, Uganda continues to implement mandatory institutional quarantine.
As of June 29, more than 1,271 people, including 62 children, were in quarantine in 74 facilities in 48 districts.
COVID-19 case management is concentrated in a few national and regional referral hospitals. The majority of admitted cases continue to be asymptomatic, mild, or moderate. HIV is reported as the leading co-morbidity among COVID-19 patients.
In a scheduled address to the nation during the reporting period, the President of Uganda lifted or relaxed some of the previously announced containment measures, including lockdowns in some of the border districts and increasing the number of passengers in private cars. Nevertheless, the curfew remained in place and schools remain closed. To address the needs of the learners, the Government of Uganda plans to launch a nationwide longdistance radio-based education programme, with each homestead receiving a radio set.
The gradual lifting of national lockdown measures has been accompanied by intensified communication of the presidential directives on the mandatory use of masks in public places and the observance of physical distancing measures. The Government of Uganda continued a mass-mask distribution effort across the country, targeting the entire population from the age of 6 and older.
While expecting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases following the relaxation of some containment measures, the government is working to decentralize all aspects of the response and continues to expand its testing, quarantine, isolation and case management capacity. Hot-spot districts are targeted and supported on a priority basis with intensified surveillance, contact-tracing, and testing alongside enhanced community engagement. Uganda’s COVID-19 response capacity is being challenged by limited availability of testing supplies due to global disruptions in supply chains and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and other frontline workers. There is also a continued need to expand case management and MHPSS capacity.