By JOREEN NABUTTO
The Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng on Saturday said nine negative cases that had erroneously been recorded as positive have been discounted from the national tally, bringing the country’s confirmed cases down to 685, contrary to what was earlier reported.
The minister explained that between June 3 and 4, a batch of 50 samples from within Kampala area was analysed in Makerere University Laboratory and yielded results that were detected as positive.
“The results were communicated to the respective individuals as part of the infection prevention and control and the necessary measures undertaken. However, as part of routine quality assurance procedures, some samples were sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for re-testing. There was discordance in some of the samples in this batch. This then required the entire batch to be retested,” she added.
When the batch was retested, nine of the previously confirmed cases were found to be negative and the individuals were informed, the minister said.
“This discrepancy was also brought to the attention of the president,” she added.
According to the minister, errors in handling test samples is not uncommon in laboratory management.
“That is why multiple tests are done and there is provision for second and third parties to do confirmatory tests on the same samples if need arises,” she said.
Some of the factors that may cause errors in test results, according to the minister, include limitation of the test itself and processing errors.
“Errors leading to false results can be classified into; errors before analysis (pre-analytic) which may arise during sample collection, packaging, shipping, opening, etc. Errors during sample analysis (analytic) sample processing or conducting the test. Errors after analysis (post-analytic) during reading results, analysing results, interpretation, decoding, or making the right inference/ conclusions or the results),” she added.
According to the minister, there are a total of 560 active cases on admission in 14 health facilities. Of these, 496 are Ugandans and 64 are foreigners.
A total of 699 foreign truckers have been handed back to their respective countries of origin for appropriate care and management.
“When foreign truckers test positive, they are not allowed into our country. At the time of change of policy, we already had foreign truckers in our facilities and so we cannot discharge them until they have improved and are ready for discharge” she said.
A total of 1,197 truck drivers have tested positive for Covid-19 in Uganda since the firs case was confirmed in March this year.
Of these, 337 are Ugandans while 780 are foreign truckers. Of the foreign truckers, 444 are Kenyans, 222 are Tanzanians, nine are South Sudanese, 18 are Congolese, two are Ethiopians, 12 are Rwandans, 23 are Burundians, 44 are Eritreans and six are Somalis.
Currently, 33 districts in Uganda have confirmed cases of Covid-19. They include; Amuru, Adjumani, Buikwe, Yumbe, Arua, Koboko, Moyo, Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Soroti, Kumi, Tororo, Busia, Mayuge, Buvuma, Kayunga, Mukono, Kampala, Jinja, Nakaseke, Masindi, Bulisa, Kiryandongo, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Masaka, Rakai, Mabarara, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Kyotera and Wakiso.