As the world has been locked down over the coronavirus scare, Katuna border post, separating Uganda and Rwanda in South Western lacks sufficient health tools and other related equipment, which would help in surveillance of the deadly disease that has no known vaccine.
The border post that welcomes different people from many nationalities has no immediate ambulance, which would whisk away any possible coronavirus suspect.
The post has limited space for surveillance, forcing health personnel that have been deployed by the Ministry of Health to line up all foreigners at the veranda of the immigration offices still in a congested nature, a scenario that would be very dangerous in case one had the virus.
Nelson Nshanga’basheija ,the Mayor Katuna Town Council speaking to Watchdog Uganda on Friday warned that if any suspected patient was discovered, preventive measures present would provide little assistance than expected.
“Some health personnel have been deployed at the border to implement the preventive measures. But all they are doing is testing foreigners and other people in a very congested place, which is so dangerous; the place has no ambulance for any emergencies and as leaders we should let the world know about this,” said Nshanga’basheija.
“The place has no tent to harbor visitors in case it rains. This is a threat to lives of people living along the borders There are no health personnel deployed along porous border points, and I can say this is a biggest threat, since our people of Rwanda have already confirmed the cases.”
Alfred Besigensi, the Kabale district Acting District Health officer speaking to this website acknowledged the health office has received reports of Rwandans who illegally enter the country through porous points, but said they have rallied local authorities to handle the matters such that when intruders reach in the country, they are taken to Ugandan hospitals for checkup.
He revealed that Kabale district local government hasn’t received any support to maintain safety at Katuna border amid increasing coronavirus cases in Rwanda.
‘All this is being done by Kabale district local government, but we expect some other support from the ministry. We have also not deployed an ambulance at the border for emergencies because we have a few of them in the district. If there was any emergency at the border, then they will call us and we send them an ambulance,” Besigensi said.
Dr. Abdon Birungi, the Rubanda District acting District Health officer said they badly need medical masks, gloves and gowns to get fully prepared.
Rubanda District borders with Rwanda, through Bufundi Sub County.
“The District has borrowed some tools from Kabale district, like thermometers so that we can test fever in any suspected patients of the coronavirus”Dr. Birungi said.
Uganda and Burundi are the only East African countries that have not recorded any coronavirus case yet.
The death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 5,000 in Europe, the new epicentre of the pandemic, with Italy, Spain and Germany reporting a steep rise in infections, as worldwide fatalities surged past 11,000 on Saturday.
An estimated 235,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and close to 10,000 have been confirmed dead, according to the World Health Organization.
But the data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States showed that more than 260,000 have already been infected in 166 countries, while 87,000 have recovered, mostly in China where the outbreak first erupted.
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