The latest predictions by the National Planning Authority (NPA) show that Uganda will record an increase in COVID-19 cases this week, predicting a total of 310 cases by end of the week.
In an update to journalists on Tuesday, Eng. Abraham Muwanguzi who manages the Science Planning Department said between December 5 and 11, the country will be recording an average of 45 cases but these are projected to further increase to a weekly average of 330 cases by the 18th of December.
These projections are coming in at the same time Uganda Virus Research Institute has confirmed cases of the recently detected Omicron COVID-19 variant. Muwanguzi says the increase is driven by local factors as people are ready for the Christmas and end of year festivities.
It should be noted that the country has had a flat curve with new COVID-19 cases continuously decreasing since October. By end of October for instance, the country had been recording a daily average of about 65 cases which continued to the lows of 40 cases average in November.
However, with this projection and the new variant, experts say this shouldn’t be cause for any alarm if the population consistently follows the Standard Operating Procedures of hand hygiene, masking, and physical distancing.
Dr. Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and Minister for Science and Innovations says it’s because of the restrictions that Uganda has for months managed to keep the cases low, even as a mini-wave happened in the Eastern region.
She says though that Uganda can still have another wave, especially if the vaccination levels are still very low. As long as there’s a positive case in the country, behaviors of the people need to be kept in check, she says they will use the same defense against Omicron.