An influx of Kalangala locals who contacted one of the 44 cases have flooded all area health facilities in fear that they could have contracted the virus.
Right from Monday, people in dozens flocked the health centres demanding to be placed in mandatory quarantine after most of them confessed to have come into contact with the Dubai returnee whose results tested positive after being checked at the Entebbe based Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) laboratory. The people blame the authorities for acting negligent when they allowed the returnee to lounge freely and mix with the population yet his results were still pending. “The Health officials didn’t take serious measures. After checking this man, they allowed him to mix with us freely,” says Ssemanda, one of the locals who camped at the overwhelmed Kalangala Health Centre.
The former Member of parliament, reined in with supplies to assist the fearful people stuck at the hospital premises. Health workers are visibly worried as they maintain a social distance from the disorientated people. The area Resident District Commissioner, Daniel Kikoola has blamed the negligence of the Entebbe airport authorities whom he accuses of having allowed in Uganda’s first case returning from Dubai. “Why would they allow him to mix with people? Couldn’t they detect him early enough?,” questions the RDC. “These people were only interested in what the returnees had, not their health,” he concludes.
Uganda’s cases now stand at 44 following the inclusion of 11 more cases mainly children linked to the Watoto Chruch who were returning from the UK for a music performance. Government says most of the cases are from diaspora returnees and have been successfully detected from quarantine points. The government is opposed to the mass testing which they argue to be costly as each person would cost $65 and yet Uganda has over 40 million people.