Covid-19: Third wave hits Uganda

Monday May 31 2021
Covid-19 test.

A health worker collects samples from a man for Covid-19 testing. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


Ugandans appear uncertain about what mitigation plans are in place following the entry of a third coronavirus infection wave that swept through the local population in the past month.

The third infection wave was preceded by a dangerous Covid-19 strain during the first three months of 2021. The Health ministry has already confirmed presence of the so-called Nigerian, South African, Kigali, British, Brazilian and Indian Covid-19 strains within the country but lacks verifiable figures on the total number of people affected.

Alongside poor observance of Standard Operating Procedures common among the public as well as suspension of contact tracing and quarantine operations last year, Uganda’s coronavirus infections recently surged to new highs.

While daily cases dropped to less than 10 in early March 2021, the total number of admissions to Intensive Care Unit facilities fell to less than 30 during the same period according to Ministry of Health data. But the national case count experienced spikes between mid-April and late May, a sign of rising new infections courtesy of the new virus strains.

According to ministry data, overall coronavirus cases registered to date are at 44,281 while total deaths are 359. The total number vaccinated stood at 541,569 while the number of tests conducted was 1,087,045 as at May 24, 2021.

In light of Covid-19 infection patterns, government announced tighter enforcement of curfew measures and threatened to reintroduce stiff lockdown regulations previously implemented between March and June 2020.


Joint evening TV news bulletins by Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, NTV Uganda and NBS Television and others to highlight the initial impact of the third wave was organised by government on May 27, 2021. However, the impact of unified media efforts in the pandemic campaign remains unclear.