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Lax Security Worries Communities Adjacent to Jinja Hospital COVID-19 Isolation Centre

As a result, community members say, that a number of confined patients are taking advantage of the loophole to freely take walks to unidentified locations, especially in the evening. Many have been seen purchasing different items from shops and mixing up with unsuspecting community members.
Maize gardens cover part of the broken fence

Audio 3

Communities neighbouring the Jinja Hospital COVID-19 Isolation centre are concerned about the lax security in and around the facility. Part of the fence enclosing the Jinja Hospital Isolation Centre was vandalized, leaving no barrier between the facility and the communities. 

As a result, community members say, that a number of confined patients are taking advantage of the loophole to freely take walks to unidentified locations, especially in the evening. Many have been seen purchasing different items from shops and mixing up with unsuspecting community members. 

Charles Lutaaya, a motorist who works around the hospital told URN that one of the victims attempted to escape on Monday, but was taken back to the centre following alerts from fellow patients. He says that patients should be given uniforms for easy identification and limit person-to-person interactions.   

//Cue in; “tuba…  

Cue out…nebadayo.”// 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Medics say that the spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another.

John Waiswa, a food vendor asked the hospital administration to consider increasing the number of personnel manning the centre to control movement and ensure that persons confined in the facility cannot easily escape and mix up with the community.   

//Cue in; “enkuma…  

Cue out…COVID.”// 

But one of the hospital's security guards who spoke on condition of anonymity said that patients walk around the neighbouring green belts and return to the centre. He says that they are equally faced with a challenge of curious community members who stand along the roadsides at different intervals to see how COVID-19 patients look like. 

Florence Tugumisirize, the hospital director says that although they have increased security and engaged patients to keep within their gazzetted zones, the hospital does not have funds to fix the vandalized fence.   

//Cue in; “that fence has… 

Cue out…on the security.”// 

The hospital has since received 31 cumulative cases and registered four recoveries since May. The recovered patients comprise of three truck drivers and a security guard.       

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