Panic in Iganga as 19 Critically I’ll Covid-19 Patients Escape from Hospital

By Solomon Hamala



Ten COVID 19 patients who had been admitted in the isolation center have fled to unknown destinations.

The district health officer Iganga, Doctor David Muwanguzi said the ten had been admitted in the isolation wing of Iganga main hospital with severe symptoms but were shocked after they disappeared.

Muwanguzi said the disappearance of the patients is likely to
complicate the fight against the COVID 19 fight since they are likely
to interact with members of the community thus spreading the virus

He said the isolation center requires more beds to accommodate the
huge number of patients who deserve intensive care.

“This place is supposed to only accommodate six patients but due tobdemand we are forced to take in more,”he said.Muwanguzi said since the outbreak of the second wave of COVID 19 in
the country, 27 deaths have been registered in the district, 132
discharged after fully recovering and currently 238 people are in both
isolation center and home based care.He said during the past two weeks, 500,000 people have undergone
voluntary COVID 19 tests across the district.

Muwanguzi said the district COVID 19 task force has set up a  twenty
man surveillance team that will move around gathering data views from locals on how to tackle the pandemic.

The Woman Member member of Parliament Iganga, Sauda Alibawo urged government to elevate Iganga main hospital to a referral status due to the influx of patients from the neighboring districts of
Namutumba, Bugiri, Kaliro, and Luuka.

She said the facility constructed way back in 1970s was meant to
accommodate only 85 patients but now takes over 500 besides receives less funding towards running activities like clearing utility bills.

Alibawo urged locals to observe standard operating procedures and wear face masks all the time while in public to avoid contracting COVID

“This disease is real and is killing people on a daily basis so lets
not joke around with our lives,“she said.The medical superintendant Iganga main hospital, Doctor Stephen Waako said health workers are working under poor conditions and risk contracting COVID 19 virus due to shortage of personal protective
equipments like gloves, face masks for usage while handling patients.Waako said 18 health workers at Iganga main hospital tested positive to COVID 19 virus due to poor working environment.

“All these health workers are under home based care and responding
well to treatment,“he said.Henry Kasada, an employee of Stand up Busoga local nongovernmental
organization who recovered from COVID 19 virus said majority of
patients have resorted to undergoing treatment at their homes instead of being admitted due to the poor condition at the isolation center.Kasada said for the three weeks he was admitted at the facility
suffering from COVID 19, all the drugs, food and all necessities had to be bought using his personal money without support from government.

“That’s why people have resorted to fleeing because one realizes
that there is no need of being confined in the center yet everything is being bought using your own money,“he said.
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