MBARARA – A Ugandan truck driver who tested positive of coronavirus last week has been intercepted at the Uganda-Rwanda border in Ntungamo District and isolated at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.
The 32-year-old truck driver, who was on his way to Rwanda, had left his sample at Malaba border last Thursday, May 12. It later turned out positive and when he arrived at Mirama hills border on his return journey on Sunday, May 17, 2020, he was picked up by the Ugandan authorities for isolation.
The Director of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Dr. Celestine Barigye, said this is the first confirmed case in Ankole region and would be the first isolation COVID-19 case at the hospital.
Dr Barigye however said while the hospital was prepared to host COVID-19 cases only 50 beds are available at the hospital isolation.
“This is the first case we are having in Ankole region, it shall be the first case at Mbarara Hospital too, as the hospital we have done preparations to handle cases referred there. You see I had to be here myself to receive the case, the DHO is here too. As in capacity, we have prepared 50 beds for the COVID isolation and we are also constructing another Isolation centre that shall also have another 50 beds. This will not be enough if the cases grow, but we shall probably improve,” Dr Barigye said.
He said due to more suspicious environment at Mirama border, a gene expert machine will soon be employed at the border to test drivers coming in and have the results out in a short time.
Dr Rose Muhindo a physician at Mbarara regional referral hospital said the patient is in stable condition and has been counselled.
“He has no symptoms, no other medical conditions and no fever. He has been counselled not ill-treated, no victimization because all of us are Covid-19 potential cases and he will be kept at the facility for the next 14 days,” she said.
Mbarara district health officer Dr Peter Ssebutinde said the district has set up a quarantine center at Rwentanga Farm Institute where contacts of such positive cases will be quarantined.
‘’Contacts would be anywhere, primary contacts, secondary contacts but all districts including Mbarara are prepared to take care of these contacts. For Mbarara our quarantine facility is ready and we are very vigilant and we are asking everybody please avoid becoming a contact. When these truck drivers come to you do as much as you can to stay away from them’’ Dr Ssebutinde said.