Western Equatoria emerges as COVID-19 hotspot
The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation has dispatched a team of health professionals to Western Equatoria State to assess the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the area.
The team left on Thursday for Anzara, Lui, and Makpandu areas which have reported an increase in cases of the virus.
The Chief of Planning and Information Mabior Kiir Kudior told The City Review in an exclusive interview yesterday that the situation became alarming when seven death cases were reported.
Mabior stressed that a week later, two more COVID-19 death cases were reported hence this made the government concerned about the situation.
He said the team will assess the general situation of the community as well as the Lui Hospital in particular.
The group is expected to study the level of contact tracing being used in the state and to oversee the performance of the state task force to contain the outbreak of coronavirus
Mabior added that there was a need to strengthen case management on the grounds that most of the people who had died of COVID-19 in Western Equatoria State were not supported.
According to him, after 35 weeks, Lui Hospital had reported 23 positive cases, Anzara had 12 and Makpandu had 14 cases.
“These cases came to the hospital with respiratory illness so they come with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and when they are subjected to testing they turn out to be positive, which means the level of infection in the community is not surveyed and it is alarming and worrying,” Mabior said.
“There is a local transmission within the community and this is one of the major reasons as to why we sent the team to access the community,” he stated.
Mabior said there are a lot of challenges in the state in terms of communication networks and that sometimes they receive backlogs.
“They will send you the report and it is already a backlog that is supposed to be reported on daily activities and this is one of the major reasons as to why the team went there to strengthen the process so that they know the channel of the report,” he said.
Mabior stressed that Lui Hospital was supposed to report to Mundri and then Mundri reports to the state hospital. However, owing to the alarming situation, there is s need for Lui Hospital to report to Juba.
He said 15 healthcare workers have been tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital.
Mabior stated: “the cause of the spike in the number of cases in the Western Equatoria State could have a lot of contributing factors.”
“It could have been that someone affected by COVID-19 might have traveled to that area and spread the disease to the community. Also, there is a lack of adherence to the safety measures provided by the Ministry of Health,” he added.
Mabior said poor contact tracing was not much active in the state compared to the national level.
“Not enough support and people don’t accept their results which is another challenge.’’