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Buyiga island residents stuck with COVID-19 patient

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Mpigi, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Residents of Buyiga Island in Nkozi Sub County, Mpigi district are stuck with a COVID0-19 patient, a day after he was confirmed positive. The victim received a phone call from the Health Ministry on Wednesday instructing him to isolate from his family, community and wear a face mask as he waits for evacuation.

The confirmation of the coronavirus disease patient prompted police to halt all activities on the island. businesses closed and passenger boat movements to and from the Island were equally suspended. however, by this morning, the patient was still at his home, involved in house chores with his family, according to area leaders.

Dr Margret Nannozi, the acting Mpigi District Health Officer said that the Health Ministry is finalizing an arrangement to evacuate him together with his family to Mulago National Referral hospital.

She added that the District Health Department and Health Ministry are in constant touch with the patient on the phone to guide him on what to do to save his family members and community from possible infection.

Buyiga Island, which has over 10, 000 people is connected to the mainland by a swamp and can only be accessed by canoe or engine boat at three different outlets.

Buyiga Parish Chairperson Asuman Balikoowa says the patient went to Gombe Hospital in Butambala district on Saturday for treatment of a chronic ailment. From there, medical workers tested him for COVID-19 but was allowed to return home while waiting for his results. 

Balikoowa says that they are puzzled at how the patient contracted COVID-19 but suspects that he probably picked it from the same hospital, where he spent two days.

He says the island receives 100 visitors on average each day.   

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