Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health authorities in Gulu have warned of a likely surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of community laxity and non-adherence to standard operating procedures.
The Ministry of Health guidelines require all adults to wear face masks while in public or crowded places, use hand sanitisers, observe social distancing and get vaccinated to protect themselves from infections. Public gatherings are also restricted to not more than 200 people and a nighttime curfew is also supposed to be maintained from 7pm to 5:30 am.
But churches across Gulu are attended by more than 200 people, yet social places like markets, bars and restaurants are operating beyond the restricted curfew time. Many people are walking without face masks, and there is visibly no social distance in the different places.
Dr Kenneth Canna, the acting District Health Officer says that while the epidemiological graph had regressed, cases are worryingly resurging. For instance, he said 16 people are currently receiving treatment under home-based care, 12 in Patiko, two in Awach township and another two in Angaya sub county.
Dr Canna says the district has treated a cumulative of 410 cases under home-based care since the beginning of the second lockdown imposed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in July 2021. Meanwhile, Gulu District Health Officer Yoweri Idibia said that the situation is exposing the residents to risks of increased infections.
Idibia says the taskforce has reinvigorated village and sub-county surveillance teams backed by the risk committee to create more awareness and mobilize the population to undergo vaccination against the pandemic.
Gulu is among districts that were burdened by the first and second waves of the pandemic, that raved the country in between the months of March and September 2020, as well as May and August 2021 respectively.
Within the period under review, over 115 cumulative deaths arising from over 3,500 cumulative confirmed positive cases were treated under home-based care, Awach health centre IV and Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
Recently, Health Minister Dr Ruth Aceng said the country is likely to face a deadlier third wave of the contagion if the public continues to tire following the preventive measures against the plague.