Covid-19 patients exceed Fort Portal bed capacity

Monday August 24 2020

Authorities at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital say they don’t have enough capacity to admit Covid-19 patients as the number of cases increase in the country.
Since the Covid-19 spread in Uganda in March, the Fort Portal hospital has received 19 Covid-19 cases from districts of Rwenzori Sub-region.

Dr Alex Adaku, the director of the hospital, said they have reached the full capacity and they cannot admit more cases.

“As a regional referral hospital, our mandate is to handle cases coming from the whole region of Rwenzori but the cases have now overwhelmed us,” he said.

By Thursday, the hospital management had discharged seven Covid-19 patients, six were undergoing treatment, while three had been referred to Mubende Regional Referral Hospital because of limited space.

Fort Portal regional referral hospital receives referred patients from the nine districts in the Rwenzori Sub-region.

Dr Adaku said because the community has relaxed on SOPs, it has greatly contributed to the community transmission of Covid-19.


“The cases we received are all stable. Of the 11 cases we received recently, 10 are male and one female. Ten are from Kasese District and while the other is from Bundibugyo District,” he said.

He said the Covid-19 patient from Bundibugyo was a boda boda rider.

Mr Brian Kisembo (Clinical officer), the incident manager of Kabarole District Covid-19 taskforce, said the Covid-19 patient who was found in a hotel in Fort Portal was a soldier attached to the counter terrorism.

“We received information from the Ministry of Health to trace one solider whose samples were taken while he was still in Kampala. By the time the results came, he had reached Fort Portal,” Mr Kisembo said.

He said with the district Covid-19 evacuation team that included police, they sealed off the hotel and evacuated the patient before taking him to Mubende Regional Referral hospital.

He said by Saturday morning, they had quarantined his eight contacts in one of the hotels in Fort Portal City and they are still looking for more contacts.

The health facility now needs a fully-fledged ICU to handle cases in case the situation becomes worse.

Dr Luis Muhindo, the Fort Portal Regional Referral hospital administrator, said their facility has capacity of accommodating only six patients in the ICU. He said they recently received officials from the Health ministry who did an assessment about their need for the ICU equipment.