COVID-19: Masaka City Becomes New Hotspot As Mutukula Border Cases Decline

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According to Onyach, the easing of the lockdown forced people back to the urban centres leading to congestion, which is fueling infections.
14 Sep 2020 09:06
Dr. Nathan Onyach, the Director Masaka RRH, explaining the situation

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Masaka city has become the epicentre of Covid19 in greater Masaka region with at least 10 confirmed cases. Dr. Nathan Onyach, the Director Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, says five cases came from Masaka central market, four from Masaka District Local Government and one from the community.    

He attributes the increasing Covid19 cases in Masaka to community complacency. At the onset of the outbreak, Mutukula border became the hotspot in the region as several truckers entering the country from Tanzania and Uganda tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The virus later spread to the communities in Mutukula, Kasensero landing site and Nangoma Sub-county. By August, Mutukula had registered 40 community cases, Kasensero 16 and Nangoma 11. However, Onyach explains that since last month they have been receiving between 3 to 5 cases a week from Kyotera district.

He explains that the numbers from Kyotera district reduced due to the decline in the number of positive cases among Tanzanian truck drivers. He says currently Masaka has more cases compared to Kyotera. According to Onyach, the easing of the lockdown forced people back to the urban centres leading to congestion, which is fueling infections.  

//Cue in: ‘Masaka Truly has……..    

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According to Dr. Onyach, a big number of patients in Masaka Treatment centre came from the central market, which is congested and people are more complacent about the disease.    

//Cue in: ‘A good number……..      

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Dr. Onyach explains that the virus isn’t spreading as much in the rural areas due to the absence of congestion except on market days. He commented about Tanzania’s on combating COVID19.

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Dr. Ronald Regan Mutebi, the head of Community Testing in Kyotera District, says they stopped testing at Mutukula due to lack of cartridges for the Gene Expert machine. He also says most of the trucks drivers are the very ones who usually travel through Mutukula border post and have been tested several times.   

//Cue in: ‘People who travel……..   

//Cue out………….in the region.’   

Dr. Mark Jjuuko, the In-charge of the Masaka COVID19-treatment Centre says that they are on high alert to handle the increasing cases in Masaka and those coming from other districts in the region.

Herman Ssentongo, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, argues that people are deliberately refusing to adhere to the Standard Operation Procedures especially physical distancing, washing hands and wearing masks.