Long distance truck drivers and the increasing risk of COVID-19 spread in Uganda
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Objectives: To examine the patterns of COVID-19 transmission in Uganda. Methods: We reviewed press releases from the Uganda Ministry of Health from when the first case was announced on March 22 up to May 29, 2020 a 10-week period. We obtained the press releases from the MoH website and the Twitter handle (@MinofHealthUG). Data include number of persons tested and the categories classified as international arrivals, community members and long distance truck drivers. Results: The first cases were international arrivals from Asia and Europe and thereafter community cases emerged. However, in the middle of April 2020, COVID-19 cases were detected among long distance truck drivers. By May 29, 2020, a total of 89, 224 persons had been tested and overall 442 tested positive. Of those that tested positive, majority or 317 (71.8%) were truck drivers, 75 (16.9%) were community cases and 50 (11.3%) were international arrivals. Majority of community cases have been linked to contact with truck drivers. Conclusions: The truck drivers are the most frequently diagnosed category, and have become a core group for COVID-19 in Uganda. They have generated significant local transmission which now threatens a full blown epidemic in the country unless strict controls are put in place.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.085
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