Govt advised to stop admitting every COVID-19 patient

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has advised the government to stop admitting each and every person who tests positive for COVID-19.

Dr Frank Asiimwe, a urologist who is in charge of welfare in the association, says only patients with severe and moderate symptoms should be admitted and discharged as soon as they become asymptomatic.

The advice comes amidst concerns of treatment facilities getting overwhelmed after a spike in numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Today, the country’s coronavirus deaths increased to 26 after the death of a 27-year-old patient from Mengo while a further 98 people were confirmed positive, according to results released by the ministry of Health. All these, according to the ministry’s current treatment protocols, are supposed to be enrolled in care and isolated at the hospital until they clear the virus and test negative.

But this, the medical association says is unnecessary as the patients can be well monitored at home with constant communication with the health workers. Asiimwe says their proposal will help facilities not to be overwhelmed and will allow health workers to pay attention to those that need the care most.

Asiimwe says that even those that he recommends staying home, can be easily evacuated by an ambulance to the treatment facility in an event that their health worsens.

However, Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng says that even though the association’s recommendations have worked elsewhere, with the complacency seen amongst Ugandans, they cannot guarantee that an asymptomatic patient will stay at home. She says if this happens, they will go around infecting others which will create more positives in the process.

But, Dr Charles Olaro, who is the official in charge of COVID-19 treatment centres at the ministry of Health said earlier that such options as keeping some patients home could be considered in future. He adds that for now, they are creating more treatment centres, equipping them with necessary infrastructure to cater for severe cases if they arise.

Among the centres is Namboole stadium where 1,200 treatment beds are being prepared to start admitting patients next week. According to MOH figures, of the 2,524 total COVID cases, 1,268 have been discharged meaning that more than 1000 others are still admitted.


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