Quarantined islanders complain of starvation

Friday April 3 2020

Quarantine. People quarantine at Bishop Dunstan

Quarantine. People quarantine at Bishop Dunstan Nsubuga Memorial SS, Kalangala on Wednesday. PHOTO BY SLYVESTER SSEMUGENYI 

By SYLVESTER SSEMUGENYI & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

People, who are under institutional quarantine after getting in contact with a Covid-19 case recorded in Kalangala District, have complained of starvation.
They claim that they have not been given food since Sunday evening when the isolation centre was established.
A total of 43 people were quarantined at Bishop Dunstan Memorial Secondary School last Sunday after they were randomly picked up from the villages of Senero- Beta, Lukindi, Kasekulo, Banga and Bumangi.

These are villages where the positive case, a civil engineer, who is also a resident of Benero–Beta, is said to have visited since he returned from the US on March 12.
On Tuesday, another group of 31 people joined the quarantine, making a total of 74.
“Our people are starving but they are not allowing us to give them food,” Mr Wilson Ssenkubuge, a relative of one of the quarantined people, said on Wednesday.
Ms Christine Kyolaba, a resident of Kasekulo Village, said she has twice been blocked from giving food to her husband.

“Why are they [health workers] blocking me from taking food to my husband if they have nothing to give him?” she asked.
The Kalangala District chairperson, Mr Willy Lugoloobi, said provision of food is still a challenge but they have secured food for some days.
“They [quarantined people] have been getting some food since Tuesday, we are moving house-to-house collecting food from well-wishers and government support will find us moving,” Ms Lugoloobi said by telephone on Wednesday.

Mr Hillary Bitakaramire, the Kalangala District health officer, said they have so far taken nasal swab samples from 54 out of the 74 people under quarantine.
“Some samples have already been taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute and we expect the results within two to three days,” he said.
Mr Ibrahim Ssenyonga, a member of Kalangala District Covid-19 taskforce, said the 20 of 74 quarantined people have been put under self-isolation and are closely being monitored by local village chairpersons.

Regular handwashing with soap and water or use of hand sanitisers are among the key measures recommended by the Ministry of Health to avert the spread of coronavirus. Others include; observing social distancing, avoiding shaking hands, touching soft parts such as mouth, eyes and nose, staying home and self-isolating from others in the household if one feels unwell.
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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