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Health facilities register decline in Covid-19 cases after lockdown

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By ESTHER OLUKA

Health facilities treating Covid-19 patients have registered a drop in the number of cases since the 42-day lockdown was eased, Daily Monitor has learnt.

President Museveni instituted a 42-day nationwide lockdown on June 18 to curb the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country. He reopened the country on July 30. 

However, hospital administrators yesterday confirmed that only a few people are admitted to their facilities at the moment.

Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy executive director of Mulago National Referral Hospital, said: “On Wednesday, we [Mulago Hospital] had 40 Covid-19 critically ill patients while on July 1, the number was 182.”

The facility was overstretched during the second wave of the pandemic with an oxygen crisis and claims that some Covid-19 patients were being turned away due to lack of beds.

At Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Dr Celestine Barigye, the hospital director, said: “We had about 40 Covid-19 patients at the beginning of the month but now, we have about 15 admitted in our facility.”

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He added: “But let us continue watching the situation on the ground because it might be too early to conclude the state of affairs.”

Namboole Covid-19 Treatment Unit has 25 patients admitted to the facility. At the easing of the lockdown, the number stood at 40.

“One of the factors that can be attributed for the reduction in cases is that people are still adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) including wearing masks and social distancing. However, the cases might increase once people relax,” Dr Ivan Kisuule, the head of the facility, said.
At Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, Dr Nathan Onyachi, said the number of Covid-19 patients at the facility had been dropping since the relaxation of the lockdown.
“Currently, there are 14 patients admitted to the facility. Most of them are on oxygen. When the lockdown was eased, the number was about 20. This is because we keep discharging those who get well. The admissions are balanced with the discharges,” Mr Onyachi said.
He added: “We have a testing centre here at the hospital and the information I am gathering from my team is that the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 is growing. Sadly, I don’t have the numbers right now.”

Facilities where cases are increasing
At Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, Dr John Wilson Etolu, a consultant physician, said the admissions at the facility are slightly high.

“Currently, there are 53 patients admitted to the facility and 4o of them are on oxygen. At the beginning of the month, the number of admissions ranged between 50 and 60 patients,” he said.

Dr Elotu said the high number of admissions are from within Teso Sub-region.

Mr Salim Kivejinja, the principal hospital administrator at Mbale National Referral Hospital, said: “There were 13 patients admitted at the ease of the lockdown and now there are 17. The numbers are always fluctuating,” Mr Kivejinja said.

At Hoima Regional Referral Hospital, the cases were about six after the lockdown was lifted but currently, the number of hospital admissions stands at nine patients, according to Dr Paul Ajuk, a senior administrator at the facility.

At Medipal International Hospital in Kampala, there were no Covid-19 cases by the time lockdown ended. The situation is different now.

“We have started receiving cases and on Wednesday, there was one patient admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” Dr Richard Lukandwa, a consultant physician and medical director at Medipal International Hospital said.

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