The Public Health Rules, 2021 on notification and treatment of COVID19 are a component enshrined under sections 11, 27, and 29 of the Public Health Act, Cap. 281. These will be enforced by the responsible stakeholders like the security and Ministry of Health, leaders, medical practitioners, and officers.
On 2nd July 2021, During the public update on the status (report) of covid19 by the Ministry of Health. The officers noted the emergencies like the mutation of the virus into five variants including those from India, South Africa, the United Kingdom e.t.c.
The Ministry has noted increasing transmissions in the community which has been driven by the most resistant delta variant which was confirmed in Uganda in April 2021.
Minister Aceng says the reluctance of the public by opening bars illegally, attending gatherings including weddings and burials, and opening of schools increased the rate of spread which has led Uganda into the second wave of covid19. She also warned Ugandans on self-medication where individuals have started taking various medicine thinking they are treating covid19.
The minister also advised the public to stop buying the drugs without doctor prescriptions and guidance as they may suffer from the side effects. Therefore…
Responsibility for notification of COVID19;
It is everyone’s obligation to notify a local leader or a medical practitioner of any community member who is suffering or suspected of a COVID19 infection for evacuation.
Medical officer of health and medical practitioner to notify;
After ascertaining a covid19 case they shall refer the patient to the nearest hospital and for post-mortem examination or otherwise, precautions shall immediately be given to the contacts to prevent transmission to other persons.
Power of search;
A person acting on written instructions of a medical officer may enter any premises in order to search for any case of COVID19, or to inquire there is or has been a covid19 patient.
Power of medical officer of health to disinfect premises;
With information on contamination of a building the officer may decontaminate or cause decontamination to disinfect a premise that has clinical signs of contamination with COVID19.
Escape from isolation or quarantine;
Police shall be notified of any person who escapes from the covid19 isolation center and; requested to apprehend and return them to the designated place.
Any person who— aids a person confined in an isolation center for COVID19, to attempt or to escape commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for two months.
Carriers of disease;
Any person who is believed or suspected, on reasonable grounds, to be a carrier of the covid19 disease; on request shall provide, specimens of discharges or other material required for examination and investigations at a suitable place and for a reasonable period of time as may be required for that purpose to prevent the spread of the infection.
In case of change of place of residence the carrier shall inform the local authority and the medical officer.
Disposal of bodies;
The bodies of all persons who die from COVID19 shall be disposed of in conformity with the directions of a medical officer of health.