Lira: How cornavirus has exposed ‘a divided district taskforce’

Health workers and a traffic police officer at Kamdini Town Council on Wednesday night before COVID-19 patient was intercepted. Courtesy photo.

  • On Thursday, the district taskforce quarantined 33 people who had come into close contacts with a truck driver intercepted from Kamdini, Oyam district on his way to South Sudan.

On 13 April, 2020, this publication run a story titled “Lira district undecided on “places” to set up isolation centres“.

The article followed a disagreement the publication had learnt was between district Covid-19 task force members.

One of the task force members who spoke to the publication a day after the article was published, told TND News “they were yet to decide” on where to use as isolation centres, describing our story as “true and well researched”.

“…the task force members are not straight forward and now, people like me, and others want to just sit down and watch them. Today we left for Amach sub-county [one of the proposed places for isolation centre] and the task force stopped us…,” one of the disgruntled task force members told us on Monday.

According to this source, who asked for anonymity, their motive was to see that by the time a case was reported, there would be a facility ready for the isolation of the suspect[s].

The source also wondered why Lira could not borrow a leaf from Oyam district who quarantined a suspected person at Anyeke Health Centre IV.

“They are saying Amac sub-county is too far, Ogur sub-county is equally far, we have to look for somewhere near. I and a few other members told them, ‘there is no problem, if that’s how you people reason, no problem’”.

“Now, we are leaving to them to decide, let the community ask them, if anything bad happens, it’s the community to ask them [the task force]. For so many days, we have been moving left and right undecided,” the source added.

Asked if it was the RDC sabotaging the process of identifying the isolation centres early enough, before any COVID-19 eventuality, the source added that: “All of them. Even the doctor [DHO] says both Amac and Ogur are far; as a technical person, he should guide the task force…”

Following the interception of a truck driver from Kamdini sub-county in Oyam district on Wednesday night, the Lira district task force team has been sweating plasma from Wednesday night, through Thursday, TND News has learnt.

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They are sweating plasma and in panic because the truck driver, who was soon transported to Kampala, tested positive to the virus at Malaba border.

 According to different accounts, the man had interactions with ‘many people’ in Lira town, had ‘wives’ in Lira town and could have infected many people.

With the ‘episode’ coming unannounced to a disunited Lira task force leadership, they didn’t have ready facility to isolate or quarantine the many contacts of the truck driver.

However, on Thursday, this digital newspaper learnt that at least 30 people were taken to Lira School of Nursing and Midwifery for institutional quarantine.

“It’s a shame that the place these contacts were taken to lacks flashing toilet facilities or better amenities because it caught our leaders unaware,” a leader in the district, said.

“Those in quarantine only have blankets, no bed covers or other sheets; no running water. The isolation centre is just by name,” Frank Oyugi, who visited the place, reports.

To comment on this story, or to share with us any information causing disunity among the taskforce, reach us now, on: +256752169448 [WhatsApp only] or +256777776920, Email:

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