Masaka police officer succumbs to Covid-19, 32 health workers listed for testing

Wednesday September 16 2020
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Dr Mark Juko, the incharge of Covid-19 treatment center addressing media. PHOTO | MALIK FAHAD JJINGO

By Fahad Malik Jjingo

Health authorities in Masaka District in central Uganda have listed 32 health workers and 20 other people who are said to have been in contact with a police officer who succumbed to COVID-19, for testing.

The other 20 people include friends, relatives, and attendants of a 56-year-old police officer who died of Covid-19 at Masaka regional referral hospital last week.

The Masaka regional Covid-19 treatment center in charge, Dr Mark Juko, said between Friday and Sunday when the police officer died, he had interacted with at least 32 health workers at the regional referral hospital who may be at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to other people.

Dr Juko said in an interview that 32 health workers have been identified and samples taken.

He said that after testing the health workers, authorities will take samples from other people who interacted with the deceased.

“We have started with the health workers that interacted with the deceased during the time he spent at the suspect holding area while waiting for his results. After that, we will start taking samples from his workmates and relatives plus the attendants,” he said.

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Dr Juko said they may be forced to quarantine some health workers to avoid putting their workmates at the risk of contracting the virus that has already killed 58 Ugandans and infected more than 5,000, according to the Ministry of Health’s Tuesday report.

He said that all the 52 contacts are going to be subjected to Covid-19 test to be sure that they are not at a risk conducting the risk assessment.

On Monday, Masaka regional referral hospital reported its first death related to Covid-19 and since then, the health team at the treatment center has been trying to identify contacts of the deceased.

According to the hospital director, Dr Nathan Onyachi, the officer had been diabetic for over 10 years.

He was admitted to the Emergency unit on September 8, 2020 with difficulty in breathing but died on Friday before getting his Covid-19 test results.

The results were received on Sunday night and showed that he had the virus.

Meanwhile, Kyabagonya Police post in Lwengo District where the officer was attached has been temporarily closed as his colleagues undergo testing and disinfection of the police premises.

The southern regional police spokesperson, Muhamad Nsubuga has advised people to seek services from the neighbouring police stations, not Kyabagonya Police post, until further notice.

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