Ugandans have been urged to follow all COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and if eligible, get vaccinated as the deadly COVID-19 variant from India has been confirmed in Kampala.
According to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Director Pontiano Kaleebu, the Indian COVID-19 variant was detected from Indian returnees.
“We have so far detected one case but are on the lookout for others. We are not sure if these travelers had interacted with other people,” Kaleebu said.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine told journalists last week that the ministry is worried about the Indian variant because it is not like the other variants that have been detected earlier.
Dr. Atwine said that the new variant from India has been dangerous to both the young and old in India and efforts to draft new Sops were underway.
“We are worried because this variant is not the disease we knew last year. It attacks the young which was not the case with the strain we knew last year,” Dr. Atwine said in a TV interview.
According to the Ministry of Health data, Uganda has so far confirmed six different variants of the COVID-19 and yet the new India variant seems to be the most dangerous of all.
The six variants include one from South Africa, Nigeria, India, and the UK among others.
As of Thursday, the cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is 41,797 with 342 total deaths. 312,350 people have been vaccinated so far.
The Indian Association In Uganda has also issued a statement, warning that their nationals who are returning to Uganda might be carrying the Indian COVID-19 variant.
According to the association chairperson Mohan Rao, returning Indians to Uganda have now been urged to self-isolate so that those with the virus do not spread it out.
“Those who are returning from India to Uganda, some have turned positive, and there are chances of a few more returning in the coming days. In the interest of the public, we appeal the returnees to self-isolate for a week after returning from India and follow SOPs to protect themselves and the community at large,” Rao said in the statement.
The Indian variant has been labeled a super spreader with COVID-19 cases on the rise in India. Over 300,000 cases being reported daily in India.