According to the Resident District Commissioner of Soroti who chairs the Taskforce, William Wilberforce Tukei, fuel crisis has forced the district to reduce on the number of vehicles carrying out surveillance to three. He explains that at the beginning, the Taskforce had deployed 10 vehicles for surveillance where each sub county had a vehicle.
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The Soroti district COVID-19 Taskforce team is struggling to carry
out surveillance after exhausting fuel donated to them by organizations, individuals
and central government.
Besides the 165 million shillings sent to the district to
cater for fuel allowances for the Taskforce members on surveillance,
coordination and establishment of isolation centers among others, some
individuals especially politicians, Non governmental Organizations and institutions
have also been donating fuel to the taskforce.
In April, Soroti District COVID-19 Taskforce received at least
2,400 litres of fuel with Dakabela County MP Cosmas Elotu donating 2,000
litres of diesel, Partners for Children Worldwide, 200 liters, Teso
Anti-Corruption Coalition- TAC, 100 litres, Total Petrol Station in Soroti, 80
litres and Public Affairs Center- PAC that offered one million shillings towards fuel.
According to the Resident District Commissioner of Soroti
who also chairs the Taskforce, William Wilberforce Tukei, the fuel crisis has forced the
district to reduce on the number of vehicles carrying out COVID-19 surveillance to
three. He explains that at the beginning, the Taskforce had deployed 10
vehicles for surveillance where each sub county had a vehicle.
Tukei claims that the fuel was mismanaged when the team
started responding to minor issues raised by the community like domestic violence,
assaults and simple ailments. He explains that as COVID-19 outbreak was reported
in the country, there was a lot of tension among members of community who
started reporting cases of headache, cough or sneezing.
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According to Tukei, the district requires up to 40 litres of
fuel each day to adequately manage surveillance across the sub counties and the
divisions in the municipality.
Celina Bako Alicemari, the Principal of Soroti Comprehensive
Nursing School which hosts the quarantine center for COVID-19 suspects says
that lack of fuel has crippled their operations in carrying out surveillance.
She explains that when four cases of the virus were
confirmed in Soroti last week, the situation was not good because many other contacts needed to be traced and yet there was a fuel crisis.
“We had a forest of people coming in to be tested when the
two children turned positive to COVID-19 in Orwadai. These people needed special
transport to avoid risking others like boda- bodas from contracting the disease
in case they have been infected but this was not possible due to fuel
challenges,” she said during a meeting with the Taskforce.
Soroti has 16 suspects in the quarantine center with 13
cases at the treatment center located at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital.