Uganda’s Health Ministry has responded to a video recorded by an asymptomatic COVID-19 female patient at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital that is currently making rounds on social media.
In a statement dated Sunday, 28th June, 2020, Health Ministry Senior Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ainebyoona (pictured above) described the recording as “gross exaggerations by the patient.”
He revealed that the patient who recorded the video arrived at the Hhospital about two days ago after she tested and was found positive for COVID-19 at Mutukula border point trying to cross to Tanzania.
“Preliminary epidemiological reports indicate that the patient was trying to travel to South Korea through Tanzania. Unfortunately, this did not happen after her sample was confirmed for COVID-19,” Ainebyoona said in a statement.
He added: “Masaka Regional Referral Hospital as mandated offers a wide range of services, including non-COVID-19specialised services. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the Hospital set aside a 220-bed capacity ward for treating COVID-19 patients. But with the increase in the numbers of Males diagnosed with COVID-19, the Hospital administration took a decision and improvised a temporary structure to cater for female patients as a measure to avert potential challenges that may occur when the males mix with females. The patients will be transferred to a well-furnished main ward as soon as the renovation works are completed.”
He explained that the structure captured in her video was used as an emergency measure as the Hospital expands its bed capacity to over 50 to accommodate more patients.
“The ward captured in the video has a functional electrical and water system, contrary to what the patient alleges. However, the hospital administration has pledged to intensify waste management to ensure good and proper sanitation at all times,” he says, adding:
“The Ministry would like to state that all patients on isolation are given sufficient meals and water. Therefore, it’s not correct that they are given meals in little portions as claimed by the patient.”
Contrary to the allegations in the video, the Ministry says the medical workers check on patients regularly.
“From time-to-time, the medical staff guide patients on their prescribed medications,” the Ministry says, adding that “In the same vein, the Ministry of Health appreciates all frontline health care workers who have sacrificed their time to attending to patients in all the hospitals countrywide.
However, Health workers have experienced challenges with the complainant ever since she arrived at the hospital.”
The Ministry encourages all patients to remain calm and strong as they undergo treatment and the psychosocial teams will continue to provide counseling services to all patients.