Ministry of Health Speaks Out On Under declared Covid-19 Deaths

By Markson Omagor


The MOH has clarified on what the public calls under reporting of Covid 19 cases and deaths.


In a press release dated 13th June 2021, Dr. Olaro Charles who signed for the Director General Health Services said the Ministry had noted concerns from members of the public regarding delayed reporting and notification of Covid19 related deaths.


The delay has caused discomfort from the population, family members of the deceased and the health workers handling the Covid-19 patients.


Last week, the social media was up in arms against the Ministry of Health for not releasing actual figures regarding Covid-19 deaths.


On Friday, 11th June 2021, the Ministry released figures indicating there were only two new deaths. This figure was however, dismissed by many who argued that they had buried relatives who had died of Covid-19 within the period the Ministry had quoted. Some Health workers also disputed the report saying they were losing patients in their facilities and yet the Ministry was not reporting about them.


The Ministry has however explained that the under reporting is due to the complicated processes of testing especially cases where the virus is no longer in the upper respiratory region (throat) but in the lungs. Such cases need CT Scans, X-rays, postmortem and other clinical findings. The implication is that the MOH can only update on deaths after these processes are concluded which usually is not timely.


“The Ministry of Health working with the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Committee has finalized a clinical diagnostic criterion for suspected COVID-19 patients with severe COVID-19 illness but negative or no positive PCR or AgRDT,” the press release indicated.


The Ministry assures Ugandans that when this is done, Covid-19 deaths will be reported in real time as PCR/AgRDT confirmed, or probable Covid-19 deaths.


The latest data from MOH is that there are 423 deaths only as of 10th June 2021.

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