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Experts: Coronavirus could hit African countries hardest
02:30 - Source: CNN
Kampala CNN  — 

Members of Uganda’s internationally known Watoto Church children’s choir who just returned from Europe are among 11 new reported cases of coronavirus in the country, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

Their cluster brings the nation’s total to 44 confirmed cases, Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said.

Some members of the singing group were already under government quarantine following their return in mid-March from the United Kingdom, Museveni said in a televised address on Tuesday.

Two groups from the famous children’s choir returned two weeks ago from tours of the United Kingdom and Canada, Watoto Church said Wednesday in a statement.

Most of the new positive cases were detected in travelers who returned from the United Kingdom, according to the nation’s Health Ministry. No one who’d been to Canada has shown symptoms of the virus, church leaders said.

Both teams, including adult chaperones, were quarantined separately upon returning to Uganda, and some in the UK group were isolated after they began showing “mild symptoms.” The church did not say how many were symptomatic or give details of those cases.

Precautions have been taken to keep others safe at facilities run by the church, which helps vulnerable children and families, its leaders said.

Authorities in the East African nation have imposed a two-week lockdown among a wide range of measures to contain the spread of the virus. Schools have been closed, and all social activities in the nation have come to a halt.

Museveni announced additional movement restrictions Monday, including a total ban on all vehicular movement except for essential services. The President said it was better to take strong precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.

“If we use a hammer to kill a fly (taking too strong measures to deal with a small problem), it will be better than being complacent only to find out later that too many Ugandans are infected and they’re dying as is happening in other countries,” Museveni said in a tweet.