Uganda’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 121 after the Ministry of Health reported five new cases, all of them from truck drivers, on Sunday.
Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that out of the five, two were Ugandans while three were Kenyans. The Kenyans arrived in the country through the Elegu and Malaba points of entry.
“Five new COVID-19 cases confirmed from 1,498 samples of truck drivers bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 121 in Uganda,” Dr. Aceng tweeted.
Dr. Aceng added that an additional 341 community samples taken for testing for COVID-19 turned out to be negative.
At the same time, a Kenyan truck driver who tested positive for the coronavirus at the border town of Malaba on Saturday is on the run.
The driver abandoned his truck following his arrival in Elegu on May 8, according to Aswa Region Police Spokesman Patrick Okema.
Okema further appealed to the public to come forward with any information that could lead to the driver being found.
“Efforts to trace for this patient who has gone in hiding are ongoing. A security team at the border and medical officers are following this matter seriously until we trace him. Whoever knows where this gentleman could be, particularly in Elegu or surrounding areas, should alert the security team so that he’s picked and taken to the treatment centre,” Okema said.
The issue of cross-border transmission of the virus has recently emerged as an area of concern in East Africa and heightened tensions in the region due to the response by some nations. Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have all expressed their concern over the phenomenon.
Despite public anger against the foreign truck drivers, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appealed for calm noting that the blocking of cargo would be detrimental to Uganda and its economy.