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Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba

Ugandans urged to ‘drop complacence around Covid’ as ICUs 'fill to capacity'

“The Public needs to understand that if you became critically ill today, access to the Intensive Care Unit may be difficult. Without the Intensive Care Unit, chances of survival are very few,” the minister said.
posted onNovember 15, 2020
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Ugandans have been advised not to drop their guard against Covid-19, considering its spreading rate is increasing making access to medication more difficult.

In a Sunday news release, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba noted that the country had lost more than 140 people to this pandemic in less than six months and hundreds of others continue to fight for their lives every day in the Intensive Care Units.

More importantly, she said that “Intensive Care Units are actually full to capacity”, citing information from the Ministry of Health.

“The Public needs to understand that if you became critically ill today, access to the Intensive Care Unit may be difficult. Without the Intensive Care Unit, chances of survival are very few,” the minister said.

“We must therefore drop all the complacence around COVID-19. Let us take seriously the guidance that has been given. COVID-19 is a clear and present danger waiting to strike anyone anytime.”

While under a strict lockdown it was a bit easier to control the spread of the virus, re-opening of most businesses and the current campaigning season has made it quite hard to enforce Covid-19 guidelines.

It is now up to people to observe the Standard Operating Procedures and protect each other from contracting the virus that has so far infected 15789 with Covid-19, which has claimed 114 lives.

8038 have recovered.

Minister Nabakooba also said that family members are now allowed to bury a relative if the cause of death is Covid-19 but SOPs must be observed.

“Family members and the community can now take part in the burial of their loved ones lost to COVID-19. However, this must be conducted basing on the existing guidelines,” she said.

“The body of the deceased must be wrapped in a waterproof burial bag before handing it over to the relatives.”

However, according to the minister, relatives are not allowed to open the body for viewing or any other cultural practice.

“You can always use some of the previous photos of the late for memories,” she said.

“Burial should be conducted on the same day of death and will be supervised by a trained health team available.”

ICUs not filled to capacity

According to Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the health ministry spokesperson, it’s only Mulago Hospital whose ICU is filled to capacity.

In regional hospitals, he said by phone on Sunday, patients admitted there are not critically ill.

By the end of September government had plans of installing 10 ICU beds in each of the 16 hospitals and Ainebyoona said this has been achieved.

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