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Mattresses, blankets stolen from isolation and quarantine centres in Kitgum

A hospital bed without mattress on it at Kitgum General Hospital. Photo By Julius Ocungi

Kitgum, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Kitgum District COVID-19 task force is puzzled over reports that mattresses and blankets were stolen from the  isolation and quarantine centres meant to accommodate suspected cases of COVID-19 in Kitgum Municipality.

Walter Tooroma, the Kitgum Municipality Mayor revealed that two of the 10 mattresses meant for Pandwong HC III quarantine Centre  in Pandwong Division have gone missing. He reported this to the weekly task force meeting held at the District council hall in Kitgum Municipality last evening.

Tooroma notes that the Quarantine Centre was expected to be fenced off to provide security and a  barrier to stop contact between community members and those residing in the Centre.

The Municipal Council Town Clerk Emmanuel Banya however wondered how the mattresses disappeared from the facility which has a security officer on guard full time.

Dr Pamela Atim Okot, the Medical Director of St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum told the meeting that five out of six blankets at the isolation facility have been stolen. Dr Atim called on for investigation into the theft.

Although no arrest has been made yet, some of the district task force members suspect  that the blankets and mattresses could have been stolen by some individuals who had been admitted at the facilities and discharged after finishing mandatory 14 days’ quarantine.

Kitgum District Police Commander Moses Bwire confirmed receiving reports on theft of the blankets and mattresses and says investigations have been launched to ascertain how the items were stolen.

Last month, the district task-force committee proposed to erect a wire link fence at Pandwong Health Centre  III to provide security. The proposal has been hanging in balance since then despite a cost assessment totaling to a tune of 17 million shillings presented by the District Engineer Patrick Bongomin.

Currently, five suspected COVID-19 cases are undergoing quarantine at Pandwong Health Center III and three at St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum, according to reports from the case management committee.

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