Members of Health Committee of Parliament visited Uganda Virus Research Institute to be briefed on the institute’s preparedness and capacity to test COVID-19.
The committee led by its Chairperson Dr Michael Bukenya was told by UVRI’s Director Prof Pontiano Kaleebu that the Institute currently has the capacity to test for COVID-19 but noted that if the pandemic spreads, additional capacity will be needed in terms of equipment and testing kits for larger numbers of samples.
He disclosed that the institute had through the Ministry of Health appealed to government for financial assistance to the tune of about 1 billion shillings to buy tests kits and other requirements to strengthen the Institute’s capacity.
He added that the institute has worked in partnership with World Health Organisation and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention among others to help improve the capacity to test for COVID-19 and other viruses.
The Deputy Director Dr Julius Lutwama told the committee that the institute has so far tested over 1000 people for COVID-19.
Dr Bukenya appreciated UVRI for its current readiness and role in the COVID-19 response and stressed that the committee would brief parliament on the need to support the institute boost its capacity.