Dr. Besigye: Govt should stop publishing Covid-19 results, they’re confusing

On Monday, the health ministry confirmed 1,122 new cases leading to a cumulative total of 63,099 infections in Uganda.

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Dr Kizza Besigye|File Photo.

Former Forum for Democratic Change, FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye has advised government to cease the publication of Covid-19 results. He said they are confusing the population.

“When you have symptoms, isolate yourself because we have nowhere to test. A test in a private facility is over UGX 200,000. The government should even stop publishing those results, these statistics confuse people,” Besigye said.
Besigye who was once president Museveni’s personal doctor, was Monday appearing on NBS TV’s current affairs program, the Morning Breeze.

Although on some days government has reported no deaths, many a Ugandans especially via social media have claimed to have had relatives and friends who succumbed to the virus on the same days.
“Of course, many more people have died but they are talking about those who died after being tested by these few tests,” he added.

Dr Charles Olaro, on behalf of the director general health services however Sunday said in a statement that in order for the Ministry of health to accurately report on clinical outcomes, there must be thorough due diligence to avoid misrepresentation and misclarification.

“The process of doing this, whereas should be in real time, most time is not achieved. This, at times causes delays in reporting,” he said.

He noted that Covid-19 diagnosis is done using Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR), and antigen (Rapid Diagnostic Tests) RDTs.

“However, given different biological processes, timings, techniques, storage and transportation of Covid-19 sample, including when the suspected patient accesses the health facility and is instituted in care, the presence of virus may not be detected as the time (by PCR and Antigen RDTs AgRDTs),” Dr Olaro explained.

“As such going forward, Covid-19 death will be reported in real time as PCR/ AgRDT confirmed, or probable Covid-19 deaths. This will be done forward and retrospectively for the non-classified Covid-19 related deaths. When this is done, there will be a readjustment of deaths and we shall report accordingly. The readjustment in deaths numbers in Covid-19 pandemic is not new as reported in Columbia and India,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Besigye believes that the responsibility of overcoming the virus starts and ends with an individual.
“Observe the SOPs yourself as a person. Wash your hands regularly, sanitize where many people have used, wear your mask. As an individual, you must become vigilant. These measures of reducing means of getting the virus are important. Avoid people unless you must,” he advised.

Dr Besigye said a tougher lockdown would be necessary but was quick to add that the government can’t dare announce one as it has no capacity to maintain people during such a period.

Commenting on government’s decision to close schools and institutions of higher learning, Dr Besigye said this was a grave mistake.
He said that such hotspots could be be managed by carrying out mass tests other than kids going back to the villages with the virus and affect the ‘bazeeyi'(people of old age).
“This is why I was bitter with the government’s decision to send all students home. Schools are organized institutions that can be managed,” he said.

On Monday, the health ministry confirmed 1,122 new cases leading to a cumulative total of 63,099 infections in Uganda.

According to official statistics so far, 48,0480 people have recovered from the disease, 920 are currently admitted in hospitals while 434 Ugandans have succumbed to the virus.

Todate, government says 1,203,499 tests have been conducted while 786,160 people have been vaccinated.

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