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Health Workers Seeing Critical COVID-19 Patients With Negative PCR Results

Urging health workers across the country not to turn away such patients, Dr. Rose Muhindo, the lead physician for the COVID-19 pandemic says that both Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization has now allowed health workers to use symptoms of the viral respiratory disease to enroll them on treatment in their case definition guidelines.

Audio 4



Is a negative PCR test a guarantee for absence of the Coronavirus in one’s body? This is a question that has of recent been baffling health workers with increasing rates of patients reportedly with symptoms consistent with COVID -19 and yet have negative test results..

Dr. Rosemary Byanyima, the Deputy Executive Director Mulago Specialized National Referral Hospital says they have received patients with a negative test even as they are really sick. She said whenever they have conducted further scan tests on those individuals and have found them to have pneumonia that is associated with the viral respiratory disease.

//Cue in: “When PCR and rapid ………….    

Cue out: ………….. so many things.”// 

Because of this, Byanyima says loss of smell and taste have been labelled as almost diagnostic of the disease. 

//Cue in: “There is an logarithm …….    

Cue out: ………… the other tests.”// 

Urging health workers across the country not to turn away such patients,  Dr. Rose Muhindo, the lead physician for the COVID-19 pandemic says that both Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization has now allowed health workers to use symptoms of the viral respiratory disease to enroll them on treatment in their case definition guidelines. 

//Cue in: “The current case …………    

Cue out: …………… radiological diagnosis.”// 

She says with the increase in infections, they are encouraging health workers to be keen on symptoms not only to control transmission but also saving patients from death by enrolling them on appropriate treatment.

//Cue in: “It’s very rare these ……..  

Cue out: ………… a negative PCR.”// 

However, commenting on this, Dr. Hassan Sharif, a medic at Kiruddu hospital said while they are increasingly seeing such patients in hospitals, it’s challenging for them to refer them to COVID-19 treatment Units since the requirements for referral dictate that one must have confirmatory test results first.    

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