Alarm as Kabale registers two COVID-19 deaths

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Alarm as Kabale registers two COVID-19 deaths
Kabale district is seeing a resurgence in COVID-19, with two deaths so far registered

Kabale Regional Referral Hospital has recorded two COVID-19 deaths as the district grapples with a resurgence of the virus. Over 20 cases have been confirmed in January 2024, raising concerns about waning public vigilance against the pandemic.

While the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health emergency in 2020, Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lifted the designation in May 2023. He stressed, however, that the virus remained a global health threat and countries needed to shift from emergency response to managing it alongside other infectious diseases.

Dr Gilbert Mateeka, Kabale District Health Officer, confirmed the recent surge in cases. "From the festive season, through early January, we started seeing patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19," he stated. "Initially, we had five cases, but by the end of the month, we had over 20, with two succumbing to the disease."

Dr Mateeka explained that most cases were managed as outpatients, requiring no hospital admission. However, he says that a major challenge is the public perception that COVID-19 is no longer a threat, leading to flouting of safety protocols.

He emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with vaccinations, including booster doses.

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng echoed these concerns, warning the public to remain vigilant, saying COVID-19 remains a threat despite the despite the WHO's recent decision on the disease.

As of November 2023, 72% of the global population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with over 13.6 billion doses administered worldwide. Medics say these vaccination efforts have prevented severe illness and hospitalisation for millions of people.

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