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COVID-19: Kasensero Town Council Cordoned Off for Mass Testing

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Dr Ronald Reagan Mutebi, an Epidemiologist in the Health Ministry who led the team that assessed the Covid-19 situation in the area, says they noticed several loopholes that make the community susceptible to the contagious virus.
Fishermen at Kasensero Landing site assembling the boats for a day's work, these are set to undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 as per Ministry of Health Directive

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The Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine has asked security to cordon off Kasensero Town council in Kyotera district ahead of the indiscriminate Covid19 testing in the area.

She issued the directive during an evaluation meeting with the Greater Masaka Regional Covid-19 coordination taskforce at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital on Sunday.   

It came after a status report compiled by a team of Epidemiologists recommended mass testing in Kasensero Town council because of its a direct link to Tanzania through Lake Victoria. Dr. Ronald Reagan Mutebi, an Epidemiologist in the Health Ministry who led the team that assessed the Covid-19 situation in the area says they noticed several loopholes that make the community susceptible to the contagious virus.

He explained that besides hosting many alien travellers who access the area by water, there isn’t a functional tracking and a testing mechanism that can support proper management of coronavirus suspects. Dr Mutebi also revealed that none of the health workers at local health centres have received any specific training on COVID-19 response despite operating in a high-risk area.

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He also noted that the entire Kasensero Town council had been neglected by the District Covid-19 Taskforce and the area was being omitted in the status reports because it was cut off by floods that rendered it inaccessible. 

Dr Mutebi also says the report points out high levels of community reluctance to report recent travellers who are now exposing the entire population to risk because of the high community transmissions.

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It is upon this background that Dr Atwine asked security to restrict movements of all people from the area until they undergo mandatory testing. She declared the lakeshore town council a quarantine area, saying nobody should be allowed to leave before their status is known.

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She askedhealth authorities to ensure the flooded area is properly covered by healthcare supplies to avoid any other health problems. Information obtained from Kyotera district show that Kasensero Town council is home to over 20,000 involved in fishing activities for survival.