Shortage of COVID-19 testing kits hits Arua City

todaySeptember 14, 2021

By Musa Sabir

Arua City COVID-19 task force is facing a stock out of kits amidst growing public demand for COVID-19 testing.
The team is currently giving priority to contacts of those who previously tested positive for the disease and are asymptomatic.
The head of surveillance at Arua City COVID-19 task force Mahmud Alias says only 6 out of 61 contacts identified were tested due to shortage of testing kits.
“Number of contacts followed and listed was 61, number of those contacts with signs and symptoms followed were 49. Meaning number of contacts who were tested and found positive were 6. This brings us to the biggest challenge of rapid diagnostic testing kits and it is affecting testing for the city health office. There is also delay by National Medical Stores in delivery of testing supplies yet most facilities are lacking them. There is need to follow up these supplies from NMS and also World health organization’’, he said.
This comes barely two weeks after more hotspots were discovered. They are; Ediofe, Mvara, Awindiri, Adumi, Oli and Adumi, posing more risk of community transmission.
Arua deputy Resident City Commissioner Dickson Adomati attributes this to non-compliance by community members to the standard operating procedure.
“I see people not following the SOPs. Many people are not wearing masks, people are not keeping social distance, and there has been reduced usage of hand washing equipment at offices, shops and generally within the central business district. We also realized that funerals are increasing in many villages. Let’s forget the complacency because if not we not going to manage’’, he said.
Meanwhile, Arua regional referral hospital has set up a screening point at the facility.
Dr. Christopher Dradiku the city’s surveillance team leader says this is meant to strengthen testing for coronavirus.
“We have set up a vibrant screening system at the entrance of the hospital which we believe is picking up positive cases of the disease which would instead be able to infect other people in case the suspect is allowed in without check. Cumulatively we have so far picked up over 50 people who have tested positive for the disease”, he said.
Reports from the surveillance team indicate that cases of re-infection are registered as a result of non-adherence to the standard operating procedures. People in this category are given 14-days for confirmatory test but this is being frustrated by the shortage of testing kits.

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