Medical workers treat a COVID-19 patient at the coronavirus unit in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Medical workers treat a COVID-19 patient at the coronavirus unit in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Uganda’s ministry of health on Wednesday announced the opening of new COVID-19 sample collection centers in the capital, Kampala amid a spike of cases.

Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services, said in a statement that three hospitals and six health centers have been approved as the novel coronavirus collection sites in Kampala and neighboring central district of Wakiso.

Mwebesa said the move is aimed at decongesting public laboratories and quickening testing.

The collected samples from the new sites will be transferred for testing at the government accredited public laboratories.

The approval of the new health facilities comes as the ministry has closed Mulago National Referral Hospital as a COVID-19 sample collection site for all individuals, as it will act now as an isolation and treatment for patients.

“Mulago will remain an isolation and COVID-19 treatment unit only for all patients who have been confirmed for COVID-19,” said the statement.

According to the ministry, a total of 98 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections in the east African country to 2,524.

Out of the 98 confirmed cases on Wednesday, a total of 65 alert and contact cases were from Kampala, the current epicenter of the virus.

So far, Uganda has registered a total of 1,268 recoveries and 26 deaths, according to the health ministry figures.

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