By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) has detected the Indian COVID-19 variant in Kampala.
According to officials from the Ministry of Health, the variant also referred to as B.1.617 was detected from travelers returning from Indian. The variant was picked up after the travelers went to get tested after they were feeling unwell.
Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, the executive director of UVRI says they have so far identified one case but are on the lookout for other cases.
“We have picked up one case but are still looking for more because we are not yet sure whether the infected person had interacted with other people,” said Prof. Kaleebu.
Reports already indicate that the country has so far detected over 300 cases of COVID-19 variants from other countries. According to scientists, there are now six strains of the disease circulating in the country at the moment. These include variants from South Africa, Nigeria, India and the UK.
Dr. Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health on Wednesday told Uganda Radio Network (URN) that they are worried about the presence of the Indian variant in the country since it seems to attack the young mainly.
“This variant is not like the disease we knew last year. It attacks the young which was not the case last year with the strain that we had and have grown accustomed to. Young people in India are dropping down in the streets dying. These people are not old, they are young. With 75 percent of our population below the age of 35, this is worrying,” said Dr. Atwine.
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