Quarantined coronavirus suspects go on hunger strike

Wednesday March 25 2020
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Soroti Regional Referral Hospital staff in a meeting led by the hospital director Dr Michael Mwanga, over the Covid-19 suspects. Photo George Muron

Two of the seven quarantined suspects of Covid-19 at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital have gone on hunger strike protesting lack of treated mosquito nets.

This was raised on Wednesday morning during the hospital general assembly chaired by the director Dr Michael Mwanga.

Sister Alice Grace Epaku, the in-charge of maternity ward, told members at the meeting also attended by some members of the press that some coronavirus suspects that were put on quarantine at the hospital, have gone on hunger strike.

She said that the suspects went on strike Tuesday protesting lack of treated mosquito nets.

“These suspects went on hunger strike claiming that they were pregnant and would not eat unless they are given treated mosquito nets to protect them from mosquito bites,” Sister Epaku said.

Ms Mary Margaret Akareut, the principal nursing officer at the hospital, said the suspects were quarantined on March 23, after reviewing their travel history and contacts they made.

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“Some of them are said to have come from Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and others Nairobi, Kenya,” she added.

Dr Mwanga told Daily Monitor the suspects were given mosquito nets meant for the mothers. He said the suspects are currently treated with care to avoid stigmatisations.

Asked about their preparedness on how to tackle the coronavirus cases at the facility, Dr Mwanga said that the management has dispatched a team of health experts to handle the cases.

He, however, challenged his staff to embrace use of protective gears while handling coronavirus suspects.

“Make sure that you don’t get in direct contact with sick people, put on respirators and the patients you treat should be on masks to avoid spreading the virus,” Mr Mwanga said.

He called upon the general public to work hand in hand with medics to identify people presenting signs and symptoms similar to those of coronavirus.

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