By Isaac Norman Mwambazi
When the Ministry of Health confirmed the first Coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the country back in March, the government embarked on a “prevent, prevent, prevent” mission to make sure the numbers do not spike, which would put pressure on our already under-pressure health system.
But in the event that the numbers spiked, President Yoweri Museveni said that Mandela National Stadium also known as Namboole, would be used as a quarantine centre for some COVID-19 patients if the hospitals got filled to capacity. That was when the numbers were below one hundred.
As you read this, the numbers of infected people have inevitably spiked in to 3,776 with 44 deaths and 1,741 recoveries, with Kampala being the epicentre of infections now.
Government has since embarked on a “manage, manage, manage” mission.
The good news however is that a section of Namboole Stadium has been refurbished by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS Uganda), the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community and fitted with several beds, ready to house quarantined COVID-19 patients.
The section, with hundreds of beds and other medical equipment, was handed over by CRS Uganda to Ministry of Health officials led by the Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine, on Monday.
“After two months of renovation, CRS Uganda is pleased to hand over Mandela National Stadium to the Ministry of Health to provide asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients a secure space to complete their recovery. CRS Uganda stands with Ministry of Health to fight COVID-19,” CRS Uganda tweeted shortly after the handover.