COVID-19: Congestion Failing Self-Isolation In Kasensero

Dr. Mutebi says it is risky to direct Covid-19 suspects to self-isolate for 14 days in a compacted house where other family members stay.
07 Jun 2020 11:39
Dr. Ronald Reagan Mutebi who is leading the community testing exercise. photo by Davis Buyondo
Poor housing and congestion in Kasensero town Council in Kyotera district is frustrating efforts by the Health Ministry to enforce self-isolation by Corona Virus Disease-Covid19 suspects. 

A team of officials conducting the mass community testing and surveillance exercise says 90 percent of the families at Kasensero landing site are overly compacted.  This is worsened by the poor sanitary and hygiene standards resulting from flooding. 

Kasensero town Council is home to 15,000 people, majority of them residing in shacks. Dr. Ronald Reagan Mutebi, the head of the mass community testing exercise, says a considerable number of people occupy single-roomed houses and shacks, which may trigger more cases. 

He cites an example of a shark measuring 5 x 8meters that is occupied by a family of four or five people. Dr. Mutebi says it is risky to direct Covid-19 suspects to self-isolate for 14 days in such a compacted house where other family members stay. 

He further attributes the current dilemma on the failure by Kyotera District Covid19 Task Force to establish an institutional quarantine center. Dr. Mutebi says it would easy to manage the suspects in an isolation facility other than sending them back to their congested homes.  

He also says self-isolation hasn’t worked well in Kasensero because of the difficulties in movement restrictions. The health team has appealed to development partners like World Vision and Rakai Health Sciences to support efforts of establishing and maintaining institutional quarantine centers.

So far 91 contacts of 13 Covid19 positive cases have been identified in Kasensero town council. The authorities are struggling to get all the contacts of the recent 10 positive cases in Namgoma. Maj. David Matovu, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner, says they are still challenged on where to put the COVID patients and suspects since the regional treatment center at Masaka Hospital is filled to capacity.