Politicians have abandoned the fight against COVID 19 in Kisoro- Western Regional Task Force Chairman says
The Commanding officer of the Second Division of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces who also doubles as the western region COVID 19 task force Major General Francis Takirwa has said COVID cases in the region have continued to rise because Politicians have decided to keep silent in order to protect their votes instead of saving lives.
Major General Takirwa, who was presiding over an open air district task force meeting yesterday at the Kisoro district headquarters said the first responsibility for any leader now is to secure the lives of all Ugandans.
He noted that leaders in Kisoro and other parts of western Uganda have decided to remain silent on matters concerning Markets and people moving from place to place conducting their businesses.
Notably, the last district task force meeting in the month of June held yesterday did not have any Political leadership present and no explanation was offered despite the Kisoro RDC inviting the Members of Parliament, Municipal mayor, Sub county Councilors among others.
“Our Political leaders need to come out shamelessly declaring the reality of COVID 19 instead of worrying about their votes because people are dying. If they do not tell the public the truth when there is still time, they will eventually lead trees instead of people.” said Takirwa.
Major General Takirwa revealed that he himself had lost three relatives to COVID 19 in a space of two weeks because of the general attitude of reluctance to adhere to SOPs in the public.
He further noted that, as a regional task force he is aware of the challenges the medical workers are facing. Takirwa noted that fatigue among health workers has been identified.
“Fatigue among health workers is evident and this is a big concern because mistakes are being made which is resulting in loss of lives of both health workers and their patients,“ Takirwa explained.
COVID Positive Cases in Kisoro now at 528
Statistics from the Office of the DHO have revealed that the cumulative total of Positive cases in the district as of the month of June is 528 out of 1153 tested putting the positivity rate at close to 50%
The Cumulative total number of deaths stands at 9 while COVID patients under home care management is 481 with a total recovery of 60 patients who have tested negative.
The Kisoro district Health Officer Dr. Steven Nsabiyumva said the number of people with COVID 19 in the community could be much higher however the district has run out of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs).
Dr. Nsabiyumva also reiterated the need for Oxygen for Kisoro and St Francis Hospital, Mutolere, the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as well as Facilitation for health workers who are working under high risk conditions.
He further said the community members have failed to realize how serious the disease is and this is complicating the fight against COVID 19.
“Some church leaders are moving from house to house to conduct prayers which are not accepted. Our people are still moving from village to village to observe the social norms like the birth of a new baby or visiting patients in the hospital. If we do not change people’s attitudes, then we shall never win this battle against COVID 19,“Dr. Nsabiyumva explained
Kisoro Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Michael Bagainizi said in the past two weeks, the hospital has admitted 47 patients, 24 have since been discharged while 3 died.
Dr. Bagainizi said at the current rate of Admissions, the hospital will require to make at least two trips to Mbarara for Oxygen every week which would require a minimum of 150 liters of diesel per trip.
He further recognized the supportive role of Ubuntu Association who contributed 2 oxygen cylinders and their accessories, all valued at 4 million shillings.
Ubuntu Association, which is composed of Bafumbira living and working outside Kisoro also managed to donate mattresses in the first wave of Coronavirus disease.
“We are appealing to the Government to come in and help regulate the market prices for Oxygen cylinders and now the recently approved Covidex. An Oxygen Cylinder before the pandemic used to cost 400,000 and now used cylinders are being sold between 1.5 million to 1.7 million shillings,“ Dr. Bagainizi said
St Francis Hospital Mutolere Medical Superintendent Dr. Jerome Mugisha said in the month of June, 14 patients have been admitted to the hospital with 2 deaths recorded.
He called on the Government to expedite the procurement of test kits, oxygen and increasing the level of sensitization in the public because the majority of patients under home based care have little to no supervision and follow up which is quite worrying.
DTF issues rules for Public
- No Street Markets starting July 1st 2021. Anyone caught offloading food stuffs by the roadside will be handled by Security.
- All restaurant and hotel owners and their workers have mandatory tests for COVID 19 every two weeks.
- No district vehicle allowed to cross into another district without Movement Permit.
- All religious leaders who are caught moving from house to house conducting prayers are to be arrested along with the head of the household.
The Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Peter Mugisha said the district security is prepared to use reasonable force to ensure the lives of the people are secured from the deadly virus.
“We don’t care if the people abuse us or even hate us, we shall do whatever it takes to protect lives. If the Politicians do not wish to get their hands dirty, we shall do the needful, at the end of the struggle, people will appreciate our efforts because we are in a war against an invisible enemy,“ Mugisha emphasized.
Sources in the Office of the RDC say Kisoro district is among the districts expected to receive 28 million shillings meant for fuel and allowance, this money is expected to bring some relief to overburdened health workers who are fighting day and night to save lives.