Dr. Paska Apio, a physician in charge of the COVID-19 Treatment Unit, says the situation is alarming and may lead to more community transmissions. Through tests, she says patients with severe illness may be evacuated for treatment, which will not be the case if those seeking care are not tested.
Gulu Regional Referral Hospital has run out of the sample
collection swabs for the novel Coronavirus testing. Apparently, the hospital
has been sending people in need of COVID19 testing to St. Mary's Hospital Lacor
or International Medical Centre among others since Monday.
The nasopharyngeal swab is used to pick samples from the nasal passage and is
one of a range of swabbing techniques routinely used to test for COVID-19. Bishop
Janani Loum, the in-charge of surveillance and case management at Gulu
Regional Referral Hospital says the specimen swabs has never been enough
given the large volume of tests being conducted on samples drawn from Gulu,
Kitgum, Pader, Amuru, Nwoya, Lamwo, Agago and Omoro districts.
Dr. Paska Apio, a physician in charge of the COVID-19 Treatment Unit, says the
situation is alarming and may lead to more community transmissions. Through
tests, she says patients with severe illness may be evacuated for treatment,
which will not be the case if those seeking care are not tested.
Maj. Santo Okot Lapolo, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner who doubles as the
Task Force Chairperson disclosed that they have already communicated to
Ministry of Health through the National Task Force for urgent delivery of the
specimen collection swab kits.
According to Lapolo, for the meantime the District Health Department is making
arrangements to borrow some sample collection swabs from the neighbouring Amuru
District to salvage the situation.
As of October 15th, Gulu COVID-19 treatment center had cumulatively treated up
to 1,119 patients since April, 326 of which were community infections. Up to
6,726 samples were tested, according to Yoweri Idiba, the Gulu District Health
Officer. There are 49 active patients are still undergoing treatment at the
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.