A steady increase of Covid-19 community transmissions in Kampala and the surrounding areas has been recorded as per the daily Ministry of Health updates. It has also been established that 73% of the Covid-19 deaths have been registered in Kampala.
Giving insights, the Makindye Division Medical Officer, Dr Louis Nyende noted that Covid-19 has about 3 stages and that initially, the cases Uganda was recording were in the mild category and weren’t progressing to the severe ones that we are seeing now.
“There are those who get mild disease, moderate and severe disease. Those who get mild disease are about 81%, 14% for moderate and 5% for severe disease. The bad news is that of the 5% who eventually need breathing support and are put on machines, 50%, irrespective of the health centres end up dying,” he explained.
Nyende, however, said that more is being done to fight Covid-19 in Makindye Division.
“My mandate cuts across giving information about covid-19. There is a task force at the division and different pillars of service care are looked at. These include risk communication and social mobilisation, leadership and coordination, continuity of services, sanitation and hygiene among others,” he noted.
Nyende added that a toll free line that people can call in case of suspected symptoms which is 0800990000 has been fronted for the locals to be able to reach the responsible authorities and health officials.
He also said that health workers have continuously been trained to be vigilant in identifying patients with Covid-19 while community education is being done through talk shows on various media outlets.
“We also have a group of many VHTs. They are able to go door to door sensitizing people and telling them more about Covid-19. We also have social platforms for easy transmission of information,” he added.
Dr Nyende agreed that although mass testing would be the best option, people at high risks like the truck drivers are primarily tested as it is expensive.
However, he said, people who want to test are advised to call the given phone numbers before walking in to the health facilities.
“I don’t encourage people to go and flood the hospitals in many numbers. It is a one on one basis. The best thing is to make a call prior,” he added.
Nyende cleared some of the misconceptions around Covid-19. He said that although people with less immunity, those who have had transplants and the aged are likely to die, other categories of people should not think on a safer side.
“It doesn’t mean that if you’re younger, you don’t get Covid-19 or die from it. You can be a statistic,” he clarified.
Dr Nyende stressed that one of the challenges they are facing at the district are non compliance to SOPs.
According to the Ministry of Health, there’s concern of the rapid increasing cases in Kampala since the lifting of the lockdown restrictions.
“This is because the community is not following the Standard Operating Measures,” Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services at the Ministry said.