Anxiety! Covid-19 patients left in communities as hospital runs out of space

There is anxiety among health and local officials in Arua district, following reports that the COVID-19 treatment facility has run out of space. Newly tested positive cases have now been left in their communities, and not yet linked to care.

This is according to a report released in an emergency taskforce meeting convened on Wednesday. The meeting heard that the Arua hospital COVID-19 treatment centre has 42 active cases surpassing its holding capacity of 35 beds. Cumulatively, the facility has treated 101 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Arua Resident City Commissioner Nahori Oya, who heads the COVID-19 taskforce in the area says that the Arua regional centre has recorded an overwhelming number of patients within a very short period of time, putting the task force in an awkward position.

Arua District Health Officer Paul Bishop Drileba says that there are over ten positive cases that are supposed to be picked up on Wednesday. However, because there is no space, they have left them in the communities. He appealed to the Ministry of Health to come out and save the situation before it gets out of hand.

Meanwhile, Dr Filbert Nyeko, the Director of Arua Regional Referral Hospital says that they have been forced to put some extra patients along the corridors presenting a high risk of re-infecting others, who were on the road to recovery. Dr Nyeko added that the hospital is in dire need of food for the isolated COVID-19 patients.

The task force members are now considering referring the positive cases to Namboole stadium where a bigger facility has been set up. The institutional quarantine centre at Arua prison primary school currently has 276 contacts, the first record rise since the outbreak of the pandemic in March.


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