COVID-19: 5 Tanzanian Truck drivers beat Coronavirus at Arua Hospital

Dr. Moriku (R) seen making endless calls as other Ministry of Health officials look on at Arua Hospital on Wednesday

Arua – The State Minister of Health in charge of Primary Health Care, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu has declared the five coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases that have been undergoing treatment at Arua regional referral hospital negative.

The five cases, all Tanzanian truck drivers were received at the hospital after testing positive of COVID-19 on April 24 and 25, 2020.

But while addressing officials at Arua hospital on Wednesday, Dr. Moriku said following weeks of treatment, samples of the patients were later taken and tested negative.

She, however, couldn’t discharge the five on grounds that there was no official from Tanzania to receive them.

“Today we have come here with the purpose of sending off our five truck drivers so that we tell them bye because they have successfully been treated and they have recovered,” Moriku said.

“These truck drivers are all Tanzania nationals. The fact that they are not from Uganda, the doctors can discharge them now, but we can’t hand them over to any of us who is seated here because they don’t have homes and families here in Uganda,” Moriku added.

She said they are not discharging the cases on the fateful day due to the absence of the Tanzanian Ambassador to Uganda or any other representative from the Embassy of Tanzania in Uganda.

“We tried to coordinate to find out whether one of them was coming but unfortunately, they were not in position to respond to this particular point in time when we needed to hand over these truck drivers to them,” Moriku stressed.

The Minister noted that they are going to wait until they get the Tanzanian Ambassador to come and receive the healed truck drivers and reunite them with their families back in Tanzania.

Dr. Philbert Nyeko, the Arua hospital director hailed his staff for the commendable job done by treating the five cases successfully.

“Hon. Minister we have brought in the media to inform them that ‘yes we can’ and yes we have done it. We took in five COVID-19 positive cases and today we are turning out five COVID-19 negative cases,” Nyeko said.

“That is to say, the people you see here (health workers) are not half doctors, not quarter nurses; they are full, they can do it. They are trained from recognized institutions and they are capable to do services that one requires,” Nyeko emphasized.

Besides the truck drivers, Nyeko said the 12 contacts that were under quarantine at Arua nursing school were also discharged on Tuesday after testing negative.

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