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Shs25b earmarked to fight coronavirus in Uganda as death toll rises

Ministry of health says it has developed a Shs 25 billion preparedness plan to handle the threat of coronavirus.

The new coronavirus which appeared late December has claimed nearly 500 lives, infected more than 24,000 people in mainland China and spread to more than 20 countries.

The preparedness plan, according to health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, will be funded by government of Uganda and partners.

Ms Aceng told journalists in Kampala on Wednesday that there was no specific treatment or vaccine for the deadly virus.

“However, people who are infected should immediately seek medical care to receive supportive treatment which include; analgesics, for the fever, fluids and where necessary oxygen and antibiotics,” she said.

Uganda does not have any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.

“However, Uganda has since intensified its vigilance to quickly identify any suspected cases of 2019-nCoV by enhancing the surveillance and reporting systems.

This is aimed at preventing entry and spread of the deadly virus into the country,” Ms Aceng said before calling for calm and urged Ugandans to report suspicious cases.

She also assured the country that the ministry has the capacity to handle the threat and a well-established Uganda Virus Research Institute capable of making the diagnosis.

Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province have reported hundreds of deaths and thousands of infections, and more than 53 million people are living under tough restrictions.

Only two fatalities have been reported outside mainland China so far – a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong who had travelled to Wuhan and a Chinese traveller from Wuhan who died in the Philippines.

While many countries have sent aircraft to evacuate their citizens, Ugandan Prime Ruahakan Rugunda was early this week criticized for insisting Ugandans should stay put.

By Daily Monitor

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