At least 563 people have been killed by the Coronavirus since its outbreak in China last month
As many as 100 people, who arrived in Uganda from China, have been placed on a 14-day quarantine in a bid to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus into the country, local media reported Thursday.
Ugandan Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told reporters in Kampala that 44 of those quarantined were Chinese nationals, and the remaining 56 are Ugandans, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported.
"Those without visible symptoms will be isolated and quarantined in their houses after sensitization. Even without symptoms, infected persons may be infectious, but this is in rare cases," Aceng said.
Aceng explained that the quarantine is in different places to prevent the risk of those who turn out negative from acquiring the disease, although she said there is a surveillance team that will be alert and follows up.
"We cannot quarantine everybody in one place because some people may already be incubating the virus, others may be free so if we put all of them together, the ones who are virus-free may contract the disease from those who are incubating," she said.
African countries have increased efforts to avert the spread of the new coronavirus by intensifying health checks at airports, and some have even suspended flights to China, where the virus has killed at least 563 people as of Thursday.
A total of 28,018 confirmed cases of the disease currently exist.
Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency - mainly because of fears that poorer countries might not be able to cope with an outbreak, according to BBC.
"We know how fragile the health system is for the African continent and these systems are already overwhelmed by many ongoing disease outbreaks, so for us, it is critical to detect earlier so that we can prevent the spread," Michael Yao, WHO's head of emergency operations in Africa, told the BBC.
Meanwhile, Rwanda Air and Kenya Airways have both suspended flights to Guangzhou, China, as they monitor the situation.