Covid-19: Mbale hospital halts admission of positive patients citing lack of beds

Mbale Regional Referral hospital has stopped admitting Covid-19 patients citing limited bed capacity.

There are currently 16 Covid-19 patients in the isolation center at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital which has 10 beds.

Dr. Emmanuel Tugaineyo Ituzo, the director Mbale Regional Referral Hospital says they have halted fresh admissions because the number of Covid-19 patients is beyond their bed capacity.

He says they are in the process of relocating the isolation center to the mental unit which has the capacity of more than 40 beds.

“However, the relocation has disrupted our mental health services. This means all patients with serious mental problems will have to be referred to Butabika National Mental Referral Hospital.

At the moment, we are looking around for a place where we can attend to mild cases and those we have been seeing on outpatient basis,” he said.

Dr. Tugaineyo says they are currently referring new Covid-19 patients to Jinja and Soroti Regional Referral Hospital.

Dr. Tugaineyo also allayed the fears about the safety of health workers at the isolation center saying the hospital is fully equipped with Personal Protective Equipment.

“My store is actually full and we are expecting more from the National Medical Stores-NMS. There is nothing we don’t have as far as PPEs are concerned and we are taking all the precautions to make sure our staff is safe,” he said.

This is contrary to earlier revelations by Christine Lumonyo, the Focal Person for Infection Prevention and Control at Mbale regional referral hospital that health workers at the treatment center lack sufficient uniforms and bedding materials for patients which makes their work difficult.

Uganda has 489 Covid-19 patients, majority of them truck drivers. The increasing number of patients has piled pressure on isolation centers countrywide because of the limited bed capacity.