Arua – Security officials have sealed off the roads leading to and around Arua regional referral hospital following reports of a possible attack on the facility.
This is after intelligence reports indicated that some locals were planning to attack and burn the hospital in protest of the government’s decision to transport the four coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients from Pakwach to the facility on Friday, April 24.
The four Tanzanian truck drivers who were heading to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via Arua were confirmed to be positive with COVID-19 after a test at Uganda-Tanzania border of Mutukula.
They were intercepted at Pakwach and later transported to Arua hospital for further management.
The other seven truck drivers in the same convoy were quarantined at Uganda College of Commerce Pakwach to allow medics trace their contacts.
But shortly before the arrival of the COVID-19 patients, security personnel comprising of the UPDF, police and local defence unit officials sealed off the roads leading to the hospital.
The officials also started chasing away locals coming close to the facility with the exception of a few accredited individuals.
By Saturday morning, the situation remained tense as security continued to man the facility against reports of possible attack on the hospital in protest of the sick Tanzanians.
Earlier this week, some local leaders teamed up to force the transfer of a COVID-19 suspected Kenyan truck driver admitted at River Oli Health Centre IV in Arua Municipality to Mulago hospital.
Led by Sam Wadri Nyakua, the Arua district chairperson, the leaders claimed that Arua is ill prepared to host any COVID-19 patient.
However, when contacted on phone shortly before the arrival of the four truck drivers, Paul Bishop Drileba, the acting Arua district health officer said the district is prepared to manage the cases.
Meanwhile Alice Akello, the Arua deputy RDC said the deployment was merely aimed at containing any wrong element that would wish to take advantage of the situation.