The six foreign national 4 from Eritrea and 2 Kenya truck drivers are stranded at Uganda, as the National Task Force COVID-19 pandemic cannot answer telephone from Amuru District Task Force COVID-19.
The truck drivers from Uganda are to be tested from South Sudan check point, while truck drivers who enter inside Uganda from South Sudan are to be check by Uganda custom officers inside Uganda, and if they are got positive they should take them back to their countries of origin.
AMURU-UGANDA: Michael Lakony the Amuru District Chairman says Amuru community think COVID-19 is the problems of the truck drivers, otherwise when the lock down is lifted the pandemic will turn out a community disaster; given Elegu border point a hot spot for COVID-19 pandemic.
The Editor of Oyeng Yeng News caught up with the Amuru district Chairman Michael Lakony in a question and answer session. What is your take on COVID-19 as \elegu becomes a hot spot for corona virus infection?
Answer: Besides following presidential directive we are developing local mechanism of intervention from the one month we have been screening track drivers in Elegu. At first in pours border point, but we have deployed Uganda peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) and Local Defense Forces (LDU).
The mechanism we have put in place is setting up a 13 man team of task force including medical workers to help in screening and testing the virus and a set a quarantine center in Elegu and Pabbo Senior secondary school. But now when I wrote to Prime Minister Office, they offered the Task Force the former refugee reception center in Elegu to avoid mixing with the population.
We have approved one vehicle to help in transporting the sample previously, but the ministry of Health gave us two more vehicles to help in transporting the sample to Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. We have been paying the allowance of the 13 staff, but the ministry took the matter now they are being paid by the ministry of Health because the border point is under national task force.
Question: the Social distancing is still a problem as one of the Phone-caller in the State owned radio Mega FM program on May 21st 2020 early morning show; how are you going to make sure that people will stick to the directives once lockdown is lifted?
Answer: At the moment Amuru Medical district Task Force are taking sensitization activities to the people along the road and in the trading centers along Gulu-Juba road where truck drivers often travel.
Amuru district start from Seven Coiner Lacor up to Elegu our people are facing risk from the truck drivers along the way as they split their slavers on Uganda notes and throw it to the community along the way. We have place our people in a long the road and along the way we got our task force. We have to see that no truck drivers stop in the center. All the boreholes along the roadside we have put padlocks because the truck drivers made stop over at night to drink some water.
Question: what are the situation at Elegu boarder and inside South Sudan?
Answer: there is total chaos inside South Sudan border point at Nimule side, no safer system are put in place; you find that truck drivers are loitering as their trucks line in long queue. Sometimes the drivers sneaking the community. Is this a worry to you?
To evacuate truck drivers who is found sick is very slow because we lack resources in keeping people in the quarantine center at Pabbo Senior secondary school because the majority of the people we are keeping in Amuru district are aliens that they come from outside from other countries.
Question: What has been the problem, is the HEALTH Ministry not fourth coming in to help the situation?
Answer? We lack coordination with the National Task Force from the head quarter from Kampala. Now, we have six foreigners 4 Eritrean and 2 Kenya Truck Drivers and we lack transport to take them to their countries. The National Teams does not coordinate with us and they only coordinate with team from the border point only. It takes you days to reach them when it should just be thirty minutes to harmonize positions.
Question: Do you have other constrains apart from the communication and coordination?
Answer: Amuru District Health Officer and his team lack medical equipment’s like PPE, beside that we are saving even the community from South Sudan those who infiltrating the Country through the porous border for one month we have been focusing our control on the border, for those we find them, we forward them to National Task Force in Kampala since we do not have capacity to handle them.
The district also lack facilities, money that have been send to the district facing overwhelming demand, a case in point people in quarantine that we are keeping, although some NGO has decided to put fence when the lock down is over school pupils will resume classes, where are we going to transfer people in isolation quarantine center.
And also within quarantine there is also lack of accommodation for women, we need to partition room to allow women have places to change their clothes, things like sanitation is also big problem in the current isolation center.
Question: Elegu according to District Health Director Dr. Patrick Olwando Odong says over the radio that 13 people has been tested positive at Elegu, and 7 are Uganda 6 are foreigners, that it means there many contact at Elegu?
Answer: Yes we are monitoring all the contact, at the moment we have one Truck owner who has been moving across Uganda-South Sudan inside Nimule, we have got all his contact from Uganda side, but from Nimule South Sudan side we don’t know his contact are still at large
The problem Custom staff people are doing business.