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Kitgum district taskforce baffled over delayed COVID-19 test results

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kitgum district COVID-19 taskforce is dismayed over the delay in release of COVID-19 test results.

The Kitgum District Health Officer Dr. Alex Olwedo made the disclosure on Friday evening while releasing routine COVID-19 test sample results that were taken from contacts and suspects three weeks ago from the district.

The delayed results that were taken earlier this month discovered that a 27-year old woman had tested positive of the virus even after she was discharged after accomplishing the 14-day mandatory quarantine and had mixed up with numerous contacts.

According to Dr. Olwedo, results for test samples obtained from 13 suspects and contacts who were COVID-19 positive cases between the 5th to the 8th June 2020 and submitted to the laboratory have not yet been received by the district.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the late release of COVID-19 test samples from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) is frustrating the fight against the pandemic.

Komakech says the delayed processing and subsequent release of COVID-19 tests has negatively impacted on the fight against the pandemic since persons placed under quarantine are always becoming impatient to wait for their results and demanding for their discharge. This according to Komakech could potentially spike on infection of the coronavirus if persons are discharged without ascertaining their status as they would mix with numerous contacts in the public.

Kitgum district chairperson Jackson Omona says the district taskforce has now petitioned that health ministry to intervene in investigating the major reasons for the delay on the release of the test sample results.

Omona says the taskforce is considering on improving on coordination of test results being received in time and that the matter has been reported to the Director General of Health Services who has pledged to visit the district to ascertain the delays.

The concern over delayed release of results in Kitgum district follows a similar case of a 34-year old man who was earlier this month confirmed positive of COVID-19 two weeks after being discharged from the mandatory 14 days quarantine.

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