Arua’s porous borders undermining Covid-19 fight

Parliament’s technical committee on COVID-19 in Arua assessing the preparedness of the district to handle the pandemic.

 The Parliamentary Technical Committee on Covid-19 has urged government to address the issue of porous borders and illegal border entry points in Arua district as an emergency because it undermines the fight against the pandemic.

The committee task force is in West Nile sub region to assess the preparedness of government institutions to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The vice chairperson of the committee, Hon. Spellanza Baguma, noted while touring the border points of Vurra and Ondromacaku on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 that there was no proper distinction between the borders of Uganda and DR Congo.

“During our tour, we noted that there wasn’t a ‘no man’s land’ between the border points of Uganda and DR Congo, which put Ugandans at risk of contracting coronavirus,” she said.

She added that the people of Arua were not observing the presidential directives of social distancing and wearing of masks, thus putting themselves at greater risk.

The Ag. District Health Officer, Dr Paul Bishop Drileba, told the committee that the district is facing challenges with regard to the time of delivery of results from testing centres.

“Currently it takes the district four days to get results of the drivers due to the lock down. We used to use buses to transport it to Kampala but after the lockdown, we have found it hard to transport the samples for testing,” Drileba said.

The authorities have now resorted to collecting samples from all the testing centres before taking them to Kampala for testing, which has had its own challenges.

Hon. Fred Baseke, a member of the committee, while visiting Arua Hospital observed that some of the staff, such as nurses, were not wearing personal protective gear.

Dr Filbert Nyeko, the Director, Arua Hospital, said there are currently 12 people under quarantine at the hospital, including two children.

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