Seven frontline health workers on Sunday tested positive for the novel Coronavirus disease pushing Uganda’s tally of confirmed cases to 417.
The infected workers include three nurses, two doctors and two senior-level staff, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health on Sunday evening.
Two of the seven workers are from Lira Regional Referral Hospital. The duo, a lead nurse and medical officer have been admitted at Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital while the rest are at Mulago Specialised Hospital.
Entebbe Hospital Director Dr Moses Muwanga says that the Lira Hospital staff are stable and under close monitoring. The Hospital currently has 45 patients, most of whom are long-distance truck drivers.
The ministry said that experts in infection, prevention and control, case management and psycho social management are investigating the circumstances under which the frontline wokers could have contracted the virus.
“A team of experts specialized in prevention and Control (IPC), case management and psychosocial are currently in the various places where health was workers tested positive to evaluate the response and investigate what could have led to the unfortunate infection of health workers,” the statement reads.
However, Dr Stephen Ayella, the deputy president of Uganda Medical Association (UMA) hinted on inexperience and staffing shortfalls as possible leads at for the infections at Lira Hospital.
“The team of 14 health workers has never handled an infectious disease like Ebola or Covid-19 and they were also overwhelmed after receiving 21 patients in five days,” Dr Ayella said.
Total number of recoveries currently stands at 72. There have been no fatalities registered yet.
Globally, over 22, 000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 in 52 countries by the end of last month.