Panic as suspected coronavirus patient escapes from hospital

The patient had been isolated at Gulu regional referral hospital since last Saturday. Courtesy Photo

Security in Gulu District are hunting for a suspected coronavirus patient who reportedly escaped hospital on Wednesday.

The suspect, a resident of Lakwana Sub County, Omoro District was put in isolation unit at Gulu regional referral hospital after showing coronavirus related symptoms.

He was referred to Gulu regional referral hospital last Saturday from Lanenober health Centre II, a government health facility in Omoro District, where he first went to seek treatment.

Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LCV chairperson who is also the district’s Covid-19 taskforce chairperson said the suspect escaped when a hospital attendant had gone to clean his isolation room.

“At Lanenober health Centre II, a medical officer at the facility got concerned and isolated him after he presented symptoms related to coronavirus and when he was referred here, we immediately isolated him,’’ Mr Ojara said.

Gen Bonny Bamwiseki, the fourth division commander, tasked the security officers to track the suspect and arrest him so that he faces the law.

“We have also set a team on the ground to hunt for him so that he is taken back at the isolation unit. Whatever the case might be, he will also be charged with disobedience,” Gen Bamwiseki said.

Mr Yoweri Edibe, the acting District Health Officer (DHO), said results from the samples of several suspects that were taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute based (UVRI) in Entebbe, including those of the escapee, are yet to be released.

“There is already panic among the population following his escape,” he said.

A total of 40 people have been put under isolation at the hospital as they await results from UVRI.