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COVID-19 pandemic: Govt considers treating some patients at home

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 29th August 2020 10:03 AM

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are those people who have positive results from either viral nucleic acid or antibody testing, yet they do not have classical symptoms, such as fever, a dry cough and fatigue.

COVID-19 pandemic: Govt considers treating some patients at home

Dr Byarugaba ( third-left), Mulindwa (third-right) and other offi cials during a ceremony to receive the sh10m fullbody Sanitizer tunnel machine donated to Mulago Hospital to fi ght COVID-19. (PHOTO BY NICHOLAS ONEAL)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are those people who have positive results from either viral nucleic acid or antibody testing, yet they do not have classical symptoms, such as fever, a dry cough and fatigue.

The health ministry, scientists, and doctors are holding discussions over policy on how COVID-19 asymptomatic cases can be managed from home instead of at health facilities.

This was revealed by Mulago Hospital's executive director, Dr Baterana Byarugaba.

‘‘We need to get a policy on asymptomatic cases. We are still discussing with scientists and the ministry to see how best we can handle asymptomatic cases,'' Byarugaba.

He made the remarks after receiving a full-body disinfectant booth for the hospital. The booth was donated by Isaac Mulindwa Junior from WUZA Limited, a local company.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are those people who have positive results from either viral nucleic acid or antibody testing, yet they do not have classical symptoms, such as fever, a dry cough and fatigue.

Byarugaba said they have so far treated 753 COVID-19 patients, including asymptomatic cases. At the moment, at least 350 COVID-19 patients are admitted at Mulago Hospital.

Two patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while eight are in High Dependency Unit (HDU). Byarugaba added that about 17 COVID-19 patients are yet to be discharged. The facility has recorded four deaths.

DISINFECTANT TUNNEL

A full-body disinfectant tunnel is a method of preventing the coronavirus infection by killing any virus attached to items worn (clothes, shoes, jewellery) or parts of the human body that are exposed.

The Uganda-made machine is highly effective if used in conjunction with the other standard operating procedures (SOPs) and it saves time since it requires only five seconds. Mulindwa said on the open market the machine costs between sh5m and sh10m, depending on the size.

‘‘We decided to donate the machine so as to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

We realised that a lot of people come to the hospital. With this booth in place, everybody will walk through it and they will be disinfected,'' he added.

Byarugaba commended Mulindwa for the donation, adding that everybody who wants to enter the health facility will have to pass through the machine to ensure that all the dangerous organisms that may be on their bodies, clothing, shoes, etc are killed before they gain access to the wards. 

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