Uganda coronavirus cases spike, says Jane Ruth Aceng

Uganda authorities confirmed eight new cases of the novel coronavirus late Monday.

This takes the national total to nine in three days.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng announced the latest figures at a press conference in the capital, Kampala.

The new cases were found after 35 samples were tested Monday.

“All eight cases are Ugandan nationals who travelled back from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates — two on March 20 and six on March 22,” she said.

Aceng said that to date, 2,661 travellers identified as potential risks, including Ugandans, are under either self-quarantine or institutional quarantine.

Appealing for calm, she called on the public to maintain a social distance of four meters (13 feet).

The minister is now appealing to all those who travelled to the United Arab Emirates in the last two weeks to call the health desk and have themselves checked.

Uganda did not previously check travellers from Dubai, erroneously believing it was not a high-risk country.

The global death toll from the virus is over 16,000, with the number of confirmed cases exceeding 372,000.

The virus, officially known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 195 countries and regions around the globe.