Uganda: Why Uganda's Covid Death Toll Is Rising

The Ministry of Health yesterday reported the fifth Covid-19 death, a 46-year-old female of Indian origin, who was residing in Kibuli, Kampala.

This makes 80 per cent (4/5) Covid-19 deaths in the country contributed by Kampala city alone.

Experts attribute the deaths to overcrowding in the city and widespread violation of Covid-19 prevention measures. They say if more deaths will happen, Kampala will still have a bigger share.

The deceased, according to a press statement from the Ministry first presented at Kibuli Muslim Hospital on August 1, with mild fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.

"Upon suspecting Covid-19, the hospital team referred the patient to Mulago hospital for further management on the same day. Unfortunately, she passed away on her way to Mulago hospital," the ministry statement reads in part.

The analysis of samples picked from her, according to the ministry. confirmed that the deceased was infected with Covid-19.

The ministry also said the process of contact tracing and listing is on-going.

The previous three deaths were reported from Nakulabye (1) and Kisenyi (2), all in Kampala.

The news comes at a time when the country has a total of 1,195 cumulative cases with more than 280,747 samples tested.

Prof Freddie Ssengooba, a public health expert at Makerere University School of Public Health, who talked to Daily Monitor yesterday, said Covid-19 infections and deaths tend to be more in cities because of overcrowding.

The expert said it is not surprising because the similar scenario was noted in cities such as London and New York.

"The concept behind the deaths is the gathering. Covid-19 likes concentrated places and gatherings such as churches, prisons, where people are watching football matches, and other places where people are crowded," he said.

The expert added: "Cities have more people, more interactions and more chances of infection because one person can spread the infection to more people."

Prof Ssengooba warned that the city will still contribute the biggest share of Covid-19 deaths because of the widespread violation to preventive measures.

"You may ask that why now, Kampala has risen to become very irresistant to Covid-19 infection. If the deaths are to happen they will still be more within Kampala," he said.

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Health minister, during the televised national address last week to update the nation on Covid-19 response, citing Kikuubo and other places in the city, also warned the city dwellers against laxity in observing the measures.

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