What you need to know:
- Museveni said the country has registered 774 coronavirus cases from 170,789 samples.
- He warned that Uganda has started registering new positive cases within the population.
- WHO had advised that all countries must include all coronavirus cases to their count irrespective of where the testing was done.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said that he rejected a proposal by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to include foreign coronavirus cases to those of his country because those tested had not entered the country.
In his address on Monday, the President said the country has registered 774 coronavirus cases from 170,789 samples.
But he added there were another 1,067 foreign cases which were handed over to their respective countries after they tested positive for the virus before entering the country.
According to Mr Museveni, WHO had advised that all countries must include all coronavirus cases to their count irrespective of where the testing was done.
‘THEY’RE NOT GODS’
“We had disagreements with WHO. Those WHO people also are not gods. They are like Museveni. They need help. They were saying somebody who is just passing, if he is tested here we own him. We said no. We don’t know him because he was not infected here. Initially, we were not sending them back. But we said no,” Mr Museveni said.
“You can’t come with the virus and you say I take you. You go back. I don’t want to be like Trump to fight WHO. But WHO should have some modesty. You should stop. We were able to turn back 1,067 foreigners. They were not residents. They had not yet entered when they tested positive,” he added.
Dr Yonas Tegegn, the WHO Uganda country representative, Tuesday explained that they follow what has been reported by individual governments.
“It is not about change of policy. Our policy is that we follow what is reported by the government. We have to clean the data base on the new line list they give us. It is not unusual to see countries making correction of their data. So we try to make sure those which do not enter Uganda, the data is provided for the respective country to look into and develop theirs. Then a country investigates and handles the data accordingly,” Dr Tegegn said.
But Mr Museveni warned that Uganda has started registering new positive cases within the population mostly linked to either truck drivers or those who illegally entered the country from neighbouring countries.
He cited high risk districts as Kyotera with 62 cases and Amuru with 59.
“Previously, the problem was from the returnees from abroad, from the drivers and from those who pass through the porous borders from the neighbouring countries. With the re-opening of the public transport and private cars, we are beginning to get cases of people who are positive but whose source of infection you cannot easily trace. We are entering a more dangerous phase,” Mr Museveni explained.