UN Refugee Agency in Uganda on Saturday expressed concern after 22 aid workers and 72 refugees tested positive for COVID-19 in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in western Uganda.
Rocco Nuri, a senior external relations officer of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said a team is already in the settlement to identify and shield the most vulnerable individuals, especially the elderly and those with the chronic illness. “We remain concerned about the situation, whilst appreciating that this is a global pandemic and does not discriminate,” said Nuri.
He said UNHCR will work with the ministry of health, national, district authorities and partners to build local capacities and systems to monitor, respond and contain the virus outbreak. Government on Aug. 26 put Kyangwali under a lockdown, restricting movements and activities in the settlement, according to UNHCR. The settlement has already registered one COVID-19 death.
According to the refugee agency, the settlement hosts about 120,000 refugees, mainly those fleeing insecurity from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. As of Aug. 28, Uganda had registered a total of 2,756 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,288 recoveries and 28 deaths, according to the health ministry figures.