A medical worker attached to the Covid-19 treatment centre in Lira has been isolated for treatment after he got exposed to the virus.
The first health worker to be infected in the country got exposed early this week and has reportedly been taken to Entebbe General Hospital for proper management.
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Ugandan Health Minister said the ministry is concerned that the first medical worker to get infected is coming from Lira.
She said this is just the beginning and medical staff should not lose moral because every life matters and needs to be protected.
“We need to be safe. We need to protect ourselves. So we have come to identify with you and to reassure you that we're in this together, we will walk the journey together. Every life of a health worker matters and every life of a health worker must be protected. Our colleague is alive and well and will walk out of the hospital but we don't want any other person getting infected. You must protect yourselves. You must ensure that you follow the procedures clearly laid down in the guideline very carefully and without making a single mistake," she said.
She further warned the medical workers not to mix and mingle with their patients. "The digits say many of these patients are asymptomatic, they are walking around, they are enjoying themselves but don’t forget they are infectious. Don’t even for one minute convince yourself that because they look so okay then you can go without your mask or make some mistakes here and there," warned Dr Acheng.
However, Dr. Stephen Obbo, the Lira Regional Referral Hospital Director explained that although the remaining staff are scared, the one who got exposed is okay and has not shown any symptoms as yet.
Dr Obbo who said the hospital is already dealing with a challenge of few staffing especially doctors called on the staff to be extra careful while dealing with Coronavirus patients
“We are in a very difficult position and I’m sure in the other departments in terms of medical officers and nursing staff we are shorthanded yet we are expected to play many roles. We actually have very many interns in this hospital and you can imagine how supervising internship in a center like this with hardly any specialist is a big challenge and it gives me sleepless nights,” added Dr. Obbo.
He said the hospital is doing more training of health workers to build their capacity and ensure that the messages about the Coronavirus reaches out to the general population.
Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Kajumbula, the Chair Department of Medical Microbiology at Makerere University College of Health Science warned that medical workers should not relax thinking Uganda is not at risk.
He explained that this is the time health workers should be extremely careful and practice standard care precaution.
Currently, Lira Isolation center has a total of 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Uganda's cases yesterday soared to 413 as 84 people tested positive for the virus.
Of these, 52 cases are truck drivers, 50 of whom arrived from South Sudan via Elegu, while two arrived from Kenya through Busia.
Additionally, 32 cases are contacts to previously confirmed cases.
"All were under quarantine at the time of testing," said a statement posted on the ministry's social media platforms.
Relatedly, 51 foreign truck drivers who tested positive at points of entry were denied entry and handed over to their country of origin.