The first quarantine centre, at Arua Nursing school currently has up to 51 cases, more than its estimated capacity of 50 people. On the basis of this, the district COVID-19 task force had resolved that a second centre be set up at Arua Prison Primary School before moving on to Arua Primary School and Anyafio Primary School.
Communities surrounding Arua Prison Primary School have rejected a proposal to set up a COVID-19 quarantine centre at the school. This was planned to be the second quarantine centre in the district.
The first quarantine centre, at Arua Nursing School, currently has up to 51 cases, more than its estimated capacity of 50 people. On the basis of this, the district COVID-19 task force had resolved that a second centre be set up at Arua Prison Primary School before moving on to Arua Primary School and Anyafio Primary School.
But a meeting held to officially hand over the school to the COVID-19 task force ended prematurely on Monday when angry community members rejected the decision. The community members cited among other reasons, inadequate security, high population and congestion in the area.
They added that having quarantine centres in a school is risky because the facility will soon be re-opening for candidate classes, yet the same location is home to a number of teachers, whose lives would be compromised by the establishment of a quarantine centre. The angry residents threatened to dismantle the fence of the school of the task force went ahead with its plan.
//Cue in; The reason why…
Cue out… have we done for them…
Arua resident district Commissioner Nahori Oya pleaded with the locals in vain. According to Oya, the existing government structures are the only places that are gazetted for use as quarantine centres.
Similar efforts by Arua District Chairman Sam Wadri Nyakua equally failed as the locals denied him an audience. Amidst interruptions, Wadri, speaking in Lugbara said the locals should not tremble over a quarantine centre because it only hosts suspected cases, and not conformed patients of COVID-19.
“This is one of the government-aided schools that have been chosen and we as leaders cannot come here to kill you by bringing people for quarantine here,” Wadri pleaded. But after all their efforts failed, the task force members retreated pending further consultation on the matter.
On April 24, 2020, locals living around Arua Core PTC in Mvara vehemently rejected the location of the first COVID-19 quarantine centre, forcing the district task force to propose St. Joseph’s College Ombaci, where they also met stiff resistance from the residents of Manibe Sub County.
The district task force, with no other alternative, gazetted Arua Nursing School which has been used to date. The district currently has 13 positive COVID-19 cases being managed at the hospital and four other suspected cases at Oli health centre four.