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Masaka hospital out of space for COVID-19 patients

FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 patient receiving treatment

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Masaka Regional Referral Hospital has run out space for coronavirus patients. The Ministry of Health designated Masaka hospital as the management centre for COVID-19 patients in the sub-region following a decision to decentralize the COVID-19 case treatment services.

Dr Nathan Onyaki, the hospital medical director says that their mental ward had been set aside for the isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients. The centre was designated to manage cases evacuated from the Mutukula one-stop border Ppost at the Uganda-Tanzania entry point, however, it is receiving cases from as far as Isingiro district.

Dr Onyaki says that the ward is now overstretched due to the increasing number of patients. He says that the treatment centre which has a holding capacity of 21 beds is now filled and left with no room for other patients. The facility has so far discharged three people after they recovered.

“On average, the facility has since last week been receiving at least two patients per day who are mainly from the Mutukula testing point,” he noted. But Dr Onyaki notes that plans to expand the isolation centre to the School of Comprehensive Nursing and Midwifery have been halted after the government decided to reopen schools next month.

Dr Mark Jjuuko, the in-charge of Masaka Hospital COVID-19 treatment centre says that they plan to use temporary tents for admitting new patients.

Masaka Resident District Commissioner Herman Ssentongo has asked the community members to act as the primary enforcers of the safety guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

Doctor Misaki Wayengera, the head of COVID-19 Scientific Committee on the National Task Force recently predicted that the number of confirmed cases will increase and even double the moment the lockdown is lifted. On Thursday, 15 new cases of coronavirus disease were recorded in the country, bringing Uganda’s count to 160 nationals.

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