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Patient numbers drastically drop at Arua hospital as fear for COVID-19 intensifies

FILE PHOTO: Arua Regional Referral Hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is a drastic drop in the number of patients and their attendants at Arua Regional Referral Hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the hospital authorities, the number of patients dropped from 340 on Tuesday to 290 on Wednesday evening as the reports of new COVID-19 cases trickled in.

Dr. Philbert Nyeko, the Director Arua Regional Referral Hospital told URN on Wednesday evening that because of the increasing fear of the coronavirus, some patients and their caretakers have opted to leave on their own while dozens of those who normally come for treatment at the hospital have stayed away.

According to Nyeko, the hospital administration has also taken steps effective Thursday scale down on number of patients in the hospital by discharging those that are not critically ill

Each patient will now be allowed a single attendant.

Jane Driwaru, who was attending to a patient with severe malaria told URN on Wednesday that they were considering leaving the hospital for fear of contracting COVID-19 because of the flow of people to hospital.

Another patient in the surgical ward who had broken bones prayed for God’s protection, saying there are lots of scary stories doing rounds at the hospital.

Apparently, Arua Regional Referral Hospital lacks a Thermo gauge to measure the temperature of people and facility to isolate suspected COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Nyeko says they are yet to receive any support from the Health Ministry or district for handling emergency cases, adding that they is also no change in admission procedure for patients.

Other measures taken include the prohibition of members of the public including cyclists and private vehicles from accessing the hospital.

Uganda has 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. One of the cases is currently isolated at Adjumani General Hospital.

In his fourth national address on the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday evening, President, Yoweri Museveni banned public transport and boda bodas and warned families against travelling together in big numbers in a single vehicle.

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