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Ministry Makes U-turn on Management of Mild COVID-19 Cases in Kitgum

In Kitgum Municipality, in particular, at least 26 COVID-19 patients had for the five days been within the communities without being linked to care after Gulu Regional Referral Hospital authorities declined to admit them. But team from the Health Ministry intervened on Thursday and evacuated COVID-19 patients for treatment outside the district.
Kitgum LCV Chairoerson Jackson Omona undergoes covid-19 testing from Kitgum Municipality recently.

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The Health Ministry has made U-turn on plans to have Kitgum health officials manage patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms within the district.

The district COVID taskforce had started preparations to manage patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms following space crisis at the regional treatment centre in Gulu. This arose from a new guideline from the health ministry directing the health departments to manage mild COVID-19 from homes and non-institutional facilities following overwhelming cases of COVID-19 across the country.

In Kitgum Municipality, in particular, at least 26 COVID-19 patients had for the five days been within the communities without being linked to care after Gulu Regional Referral Hospital authorities declined to admit them. But team from the Health Ministry intervened on Thursday and evacuated COVID-19 patients for treatment outside the district.

Dr Alex Olwedo, the District Health Officer [DHO] however told URN in an interview over the weekend that Thursday’s evacuation of the patients came on short notice without clear information. Dr Olwedo said that the district had started managing mild cases of COVID-19 and communicated the same to the Ministry of Health.

Kitgum District Chairperson Jackson Omona revealed that the Health Ministry made a quick revision on its earlier directive basing on the health risks and community infection rates in the district before evacuating the patients.

//Cue in; “As of yesterday…

Cue out…to treatment centres.”//

Dr Allan Muruta, the commissioner in charge of Epidemiology Surveillance and Public Health Emergencies says that the new guideline is not blanket but subjective to the assessment of the isolation environment. Dr Muruta says those in environments that pass are safer to be left for home isolation adding that in most areas, the environments are not conducive and thus leaving them at home poses a further risk of infections.

He notes that the health Ministry has now embarked on evacuating such patients to Namboole due to shortage of spaces in the regional treatment centres across the country.

//Cue in; “What I know now…

Cue out…you can isolate.”//

Kitgum district has registered one out of the 63 COVID-19 deaths in Uganda.

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