Arua porous boarders undermining efforts to fight COVID19

By Alice Lubwama

The Parliamentary Technical Committee on Covid-19 has asked government to handle the issue of porous borders and illegal border entries in Arua district as an emergency because it undermines the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee task force is in the West Nile sub region to assess the preparedness of government institutions to handle the Covid-19 pandemic in the region.

While touring the border point of Vurra and Ondromacaku in Arua the vice Chairperson of this committee Spellanza Baguma noted that there was no proper distinction between the Uganda and DR Congo border. “During our tour, we noted that there was no man’s land between the border points between Uganda and DR Congo which put Ugandans in harm’s way to contract corona virus,” she said.

She adds that the people of Arua were not observing the presidential directives of social distancing and wearing masks and thus putting themselves at great risk.

The Acting District Health Officer Arua Dr Paul Drileba, told the committee that the district is facing challenges in the delivering the samples and getting results from the testing centers.

He says it takes the district four days to get results of the drivers due to the lack of transport because they used to transport it to Kampala by buses before the lock down.
, we have found it hard to transport the samples for testing,” Drileba said.
The authorities have now resorted to collecting samples from all the testing centers before taking them to Kampala for testing, which has had its own challenges.

Hon. Fred Baseke, also a member of the committee said that while visiting Arua Hospital, some of the hospital staff like nurses were not wearing protective gears yet the district is already exposed.

Dr Filbert Nyeko, the Director, Arua Hospital, revealed that there are 12 people under quarantine at the hospital, including two children.