ARUA. The management of Arua regional referral hospital has restricted entry into the facility as one of the measures aimed at curbing coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The decision follows the guidelines issued by the ministry of health to all hospital management across the country to restrict access to their premises.

While briefing journalists on the directives, Dr Filbert Nyeko, the Arua hospital director said all public transport will not be allowed into the hospital and all planned surgical operations have been suspended with immediate effect.

He added that any form of gathering at the hospital has been banned, out patient’s department (OPD) will only attend to emergencies, compulsory hand washing at the hospital gate and staff cars without stickers will be barred from entering into the hospital premises.

"Translating this into health care services can be difficult because that is where we expect people to go whenever they are sick, but it also does not stop people from getting the coronavirus infection from the hospital,” Dr Nyeko stressed.

According to the guidelines, any public transport means including motorcycles will only be allowed into the hospital if it is taking a patient who is in a critical condition.

ARRH directorARRH director, Dr Filbert Nyeko speaking to journalists on Wednesday

Nyeko said scheduled surgical operations for chronic diseases at the hospital have also been suspended until further notice.

On the fate of attendants, he said the hospital will issue cards which will only allow in one attendant per patient.

The director called upon people to make use of the lower health facilities like HC IIIs for minor cases with only emergency cases to be referred to the hospital.

Nyeko said the hospital OPD will only attend to emergency cases (life threatening conditions) like high blood pressure, diabetes, and HIV among others.

He said restricting people from coming into the hospital is to avoid body contacts within the premises as many members of the public still embrace body contacts through greetings while visiting patients in the hospital.

“Please avoid visiting the sick. They are already sick and then you bring coronavirus on top of their sicknesses. Coronavirus almost kills all those who are already sick,” Nyeko warned.