The Ministry of Health has deducted nine (9) confirmed cases from the national tally saying that these were confirmed ‘erroneously’ by a testing laboratory in Makerere.
The country confirmed 8 new cases of COVID-19 cases on Saturday, June 13, 2020, pushing the national tally of confirmed cases to 694 at the time.
While addressing a press conference in the afternoon, Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed that the country now has 685 confirmed cases, having deducted nine that were confirmed by mistake.
Dr. Aceng revealed that between 3rd and 4th June, a batch of 50 samples from within the Kampala area was analyzed in Makerere University Laboratory and yielded results that were detected as positive and communicated to the respective individuals.
Aceng revealed that as part of the ministry’s routine quality assurance procedures, some samples were sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for re-testing were they saw some discordance in some of the samples.
She said, “When the batch was retested, some of the previously confirmed positive cases (9) were found to be negative and the individuals were informed accordingly. This discrepancy was also brought to the attention of H.E the President.”
“The nine cases have now been discounted from our statistics to give a total confirmed number of 685.”
This is not the first time that Uganda deducts its national tally.
On May 20, 2020, the Ministry of Health deducted numbers of foreign truck drivers who had been tested positive at the different points of entry, reducing the total case count to 145, down from 264 at the time.
Minister Aceng at the time told the press that the deduction followed a Presidential directive to remove all cases of foreign truck drivers and only count Ugandans who test positive for COVID-19.
Discrepancies in results between government and World Health Organization (WHO)
The reductions have brought discrepancies between the results that Uganda is reporting and what is being reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Aceng said that her ministry had noted these differences and WHO has been informed to align its statistics with that of Uganda.
“The Ministry of Health has formally communicated to WHO to rectify this error and this will be reflected in their reports as soon as it’s worked on,” Aceng said on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Health, the country is now at phase 3 of the pandemic with cases being seen in clusters in communities and there is a need for extensive measures to be put in place.
Dr. Aceng urged the public to be alert because they expect the numbers to rise as the country continues to ease on the lockdown measures.