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Tension As UPDF soldier tests positive for COVID-19 in Nakasongola

BY URN

A Uganda People’s Defense Forces soldier has tested positive for COVID-19. The soldier attached to Nakasongola army barracks had returned to the barracks from his pass leave and subjected to a COVID test, at Bombo military barracks.

Lt Ibrahim Ssekito, the Nakasongola army barracks spokesperson told URN that the soldier had gone for a medical checkup, a routine undertaken before one is redeployed after concluding his leave. He had previously travelled to Kasese district.

Ssekito adds that upon testing positive, the soldier was transferred to Mulago hospital for treatment. It’s reported the soldier is one of three security personnel who tested positive of COVID-19 in Luweero district. Details of the attachment of the two other security personnel remain scanty. 

Seven of his contacts are now quarantined at Nakasongola army barracks awaiting the results from their samples which were taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute.

As a result, the barracks has directed that all soldiers who return from leave undergo mandatory quarantine under close monitoring before they resume normal duties. Ssekito reiterated that the barracks also restricted civilian visits and introduced a thermometer gun at the gate to check whoever enters the facility among other standard operating procedures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus among soldiers.

69 people were also quarantined at Magamaga military barracks in Jinja district after coming into contact with a COVID-19 patient. The contacts comprise of civilians and UPDF soldiers interacted with the patient who went to the barracks to nurse her husband who suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted in the barracks’ health facility.

The COVID patient is now receiving treatment at the Jinja regional referral hospital isolation centre.

SEVEN NEW CASES

Meanwhile, Uganda’s total confirmed cases have risen to 686 after seven new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by the ministry of Health. The seven new cases were part of 2,532 samples that were tested yesterday from different testing points in the country.

Four of the cases were from alerts and contacts of people who have tested positive. They were picked from the districts of Tororo, Kyotera and Gulu. The other three cases were picked at the Malaba and Mutukula points of entry.

GULU DISCHARGES 34 PATIENTS

Gulu regional referral hospital has discharged 34 patients who recovered from coronavirus disease. Of the 34 discharged patients, 26 are Ugandan truck drivers while eight are foreign truck drivers. They tested positive for the virus from Elegu border point in Amuru district.

Dr Paska Apiyo, a physician and the head of case management at Gulu hospital revealed that they were supposed to discharge 55 patients but the test results of the other 21 delayed at Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Dr James Elima, the hospital director revealed that out of the 26 Ugandan truck drivers who recovered, eight are residents of Wakiso, three from Kayunga, two from Soroti, two from Masaka and one each from the districts of Bukedia, Kyotera, Adjumani, Kitgum, Kanungu, Amuru, Iganga, Mukono, Jinja, Kamuli, and Hoima. 

Elima adds that the surveillance team from the hospital is working closely with the different district COVID-19 task forces in the region in contact tracing and admittance of positive cases.

Maj Santos Okot Lapolo, Gulu resident district commissioner and chairman Gulu district COVID-19 taskforce appealed to the members of the community to stop stigmatizing people who have recovered.

He also asked those discharged to return home and sensitize the community to observe the COVID-19 preventive measures. This brings to the total number of COVID-19 recoveries from Gulu hospital to 43.

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