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Officials trace 26 contacts of COVID-19 positive patient in Kitgum

a medic uses infrared digital forehead thermometer to screen patients entering kitgum general hospital in kitgum municipality on thursday. photo by julius ocungi

Kitgum, Uganda| AFP |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Kitgum District COVID-19 taskforce has embarked on a drive to trace all contacts of a 34-year-old male resident of Pandwong Cell in Pandwong Division who tested positive for COVID-19.

The man, whose results were released on Friday, had reportedly been in the community for the past two weeks after being discharged from quarantine at Pandwong Health Center III. He was allegedly released from quarantine before getting his test results. 

Health officials say at least 26 people who came into contact with him have been found so far and placed under institutional quarantine. Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Person Simon Okongo says 11 out of the 26 people so far traced are close family members of the patient. 

Okongo says some of the high-risk contacts have been placed in isolation at St Joseph’s Hospital, Kitgum and Pandwong Health Center III and a few others are being monitored from their homes. He notes that all the contacts underwent a COVID-19 test on Saturday after health officials received sample collection kits from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the patient’s contacts may reach more than 60 given the duration he spent at home. He notes that the surveillance team are tracing all the contacts from the community to avoid any risks of further infection.

“The contacts are many but at the moment, we are looking at a possibility of picking more than 60 from the community among them high risk contacts,” He says.

Komakech called on members of the community who could have come into contact with the patient or contacts of his contact to voluntarily present themselves to health officials for testing. He added that investigations are already ongoing to ascertain how the patient was released from quarantine before his test result came out.

Ever since the district registered a case of covid-19, security personnel have scaled up operation on mandatory mass wearing among members of the public as one of the measures of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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