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Uganda: UNHCR Operational Update, 1 – 31 January 2021

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The Ugandan borders have remained closed for asylum since March 2020 due to COVID-19. However, spontaneuos movements to/from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continued via unofficial crossing points, owing to the dire humanitarian situation in these countries. cannot be fully verified and accounted These movements cannot be fully verified and accounted for.


Cumulatively, as of 31 January 2021, there were 39,314 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of whom, 381 were refugees and 277 humanitarian workers.
The cumulative number includes 14,114 recoveries, 372 of whom were refugees and 229 humanitarian workers.

Deaths reported were 318 since March 2020, six of whom were refugees and one humanitarian worker.

Operational Highlights

Uganda Elections: President Yoweri Museveni was declared winner of the Uganda presidential elections, with over 58 per cent of the total votes, according to the Uganda Electoral Commission. The incumbent will now serve a sixth term as president of Uganda, following what media portraited as some of the worst pre-election violence since he took office in 1986. His main opposition, singer Bobi Wine, also known as Robert Kyagulanyi, alleged vote-rigging throughout the process and had strong support in urban centres. He won 34.8 per cent of the total vote, according to the commission. He petitioned the Supreme Court seeking nullification of President Yoweri Museveni’s election victory. In the petition, Kyagulanyi cited 25 grounds for nullification of Museveni’ victory. During the voting period, the internet was turned off for five days and social media for close to a month.

COVID-19: Since March 2020, 381 refugees have tested positive for COVID-19, with seven reported deaths. On 31 January 2021, the cumulative nationwide figure for COVID-19 positive cases stood at 39,314 cases, with 14,114 recoveries and 318 reported deaths. In total, 277 humanitarian workers have tested positive for COVID-19 across the country.

Kampala was reported to have the highest rates of COVID-19 cases among refugees (112 cases), followed by settlements located in Nakivale/Oruchinga (91), Adjumani (54), Kiryandongo (50), Kyangwali (43), Kyaka II (13), Bidibidi (5), Palorinya (5), Rhino Camp/Imvepi (2), Palabek (4), and Rwamwanja (2).

UNHCR supported the Ministry of Health to investigate 28,921 COVID-19 alerts and test 7,028 refugees for as of 31 January 2021. A total of 135 individuals remained in quarantine, across 11 centres in refugee-hosting districts by the end of January 2021, including 127 Ugandans and 8 refugees.