The COVID-19 risk and communication committee is seeking 186 Million Shillings funding to intensify public sensitization campaigns against the epidemic in the wake of the infections surge.
A survey conducted by the committee reveals that only 15 per cent of Gulu’s 500,000 population put on a facemask, and only 10 per cent observe social distancing rules and 80 per cent of health workers observe strict adherence to SOPs.
William Onyai, the District Health Educator said, they are soliciting the funds to improve adherence and observance of Standard Operating Procedures – SOPs through radio talk shows, spot messages to reverse the trend of community laxity.
Onyai said the funds will help to conduct orientation for front line workers, school administrators and students, mapping and orienting worshipers, travellers, politicians and training community members in Home Based Care services to mitigate community transmissions.
He added that currently, the Taskforce is treating 98 patients out of which 89 are students of St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor Clinical School who were cumulatively infected in the last two weeks.
Another 3 others are being treated at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital while 4 are under home-based care.
The Deputy Director of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, Dr Paska Apiyo, also a Physician and in-charge of in charge of COVID-19 Treatment Center says most patients being admitted at the facility have been showing signs of severe complications.
Yoweri Idiba, the Assistant District Health Officer – DHO Gulu has since cumulatively recorded and managed up to 1,800 cases of community infections and 33 deaths since April 2020. He revealed that Gulu has entered phase 4 of COVID-19 infections.
Despite bars remaining closed as a containment measure against community transmissions, several night clubs such as Password, Wine Garage, Indoor and New Bus Terminal are operating normally despite routine night curfew being enforced by the police backed by the military.
Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema says that the bars have remained notorious to the security personnel because they are owned by well-placed politicians and influential top security officials.