Uganda’s Health Ministry has dismissed reports that the country has recorded cases of the now dreaded coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the ministry issued a statement saying social media reports that the country had registered cases of the virus that started in China last year, as false news.
“Sections of social media have been awash with a number of posts alleging that ‘Coronavirus is in Uganda and a number of cases of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been registered in various parts of the country.’ The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that these are false rumors that are being spread with malicious intentions,” the statement says.
Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, has killed more than 2,700 people. Most of the deaths have been in China, where the virus originated in December.
Globally, more than 80,000 people in more than 40 countries have now been infected.
The statement added, “No Ugandan students from Wuhan City, China have returned since the lockdown was enforced. Travellers from affected countries are provided with information on COVID-19, on where to report and seek care should they develop symptoms and put on self-isolation and followed up by our surveillance teams daily for 14 days.”
On Wednesday, Algeria became the second country in Africa to confirm a coronavirus case after Egypt. The country’s health ministry said the patient arrived from Italy on 17 February.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti has warned that Africa’s “window of opportunity to prepare for the Covid19 disease is closing”
The Ministry of Health is now appealing to the general public to remain calm and vigilant and always verify information from the Ministry.