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COVID -19: Widespread Laxity at Mutukula Border Alarms Health Officials

In just the last two days, two Tanzanian truck drivers who arrived in the country through Mutukula tested positive for COVID-19 and their whereabouts are still unknown. But, Kabanda says that he observed there is lack of alertness and vigilance in the community that if those were in the nearby areas, they would be easily turned in.
Commissioner Richard Kabanda (Extreme left) during the visit to Mutukula border.

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Communities around the Uganda-Tanzania border at Mutukula remain complacent even as the number of truck drivers who have gone through Mutukula border and have tested positive for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is on an increase. 

This was revealed by Richard Kabanda, the Commissioner for Health Promotion, Education and Communication at the Ministry of Health (MOH). He said that during a tour of the area, it was established that people don’t use masks or any other simple precautions such as hand washing with soup and water.  

In just the last two days, two Tanzanian truck drivers who arrived in the country through Mutukula tested positive for COVID-19 and their whereabouts are still unknown.  But, Kabanda says that he observed there is lack of alertness and vigilance in the community that if those were in the nearby areas, they would be easily turned in.

//Cue in; “For example when…

Cue out…Kyotera and Rakai.”//  

Kabanda is part of the team visiting different border districts in central, western and South Western Uganda to assess the measures being implemented to fight the viral respiratory disease. He told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that they will need a strong communication campaign to ensure that the community in areas of Rakai and Kyotera takes up messages of social distancing and hand hygiene.

He said local authorities have not yet done enough to sensitize their community into behavior change.

//Cue in; “Our visit to…

Cue out…to the boarder.”// 

However, he notes that teams from the Ministry of Health that will embark on testing truck drivers at the border point later this week and have results returned to them within a few hours are already setting up mobile facilities, saying these will help in reducing the possibility of community infection since positive drivers will not be allowed to continue with their journeys.

Uganda currently has 121 cases of COVID-19, More than 60 of these are truck drivers from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. 55 people have since recovered and discharged from the different health facilities. 

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