Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 33 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in Mbale district in less than a fortnight. The patients died between June 18th and 29th, 2021.
According to health officials, 32 victims died in the Intensive Care Unit of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital while one was under home-based care. The district has also registered over 90 COVID-19 positive cases within the same period.
Nineteen of these are in the COVID-19 treatment unit with 10 of them on life support. Edward Nyongesa, the Mbale district surveillance officer attributes the increasing deaths at the hospital to inadequate oxygen supply.
He says on average, at least four people succumb to the virus at the hospital each day. A health worker in the COVID-19 Treatment Unit-CTU confirmed to URN anonymously the challenge of inadequate oxygen supply.
“We don’t have oxygen, that is why people are dying,” he said. Dr. Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the Director Mbale Regional Referral Hospital says that although the oxygen plant at the hospital is functional, it doesn’t produce sufficient oxygen.
He says that they are currently depending on oxygen supplies from the Ministry of Health.
Mbale Regional Referral Hospital has since the outbreak of the pandemic handled 671 COVID-19 patients. More than 500 patients have fully recovered from the virus. Tugaineyo says that the second wave of the pandemic has turned to be so lethal compared to the first phase.
He says that patients show up at the hospital with severe disease. Dr. Atwebembere Kundra Didas, the lab manager at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital told URN that between 40 and 115 people turn on average at the lab each day to test for COVID-19.
He says that some of the patients walk to the lab while others are brought in critical condition.