ARUA. Three coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients have been discharged from Arua regional referral hospital, bringing the number of patients treated and discharged from the health facility to eight.

Two of the discharged are residents of River Oli Division in Arua Municipality while the other is a resident of Dadamu sub-county in Arua district.

The three are all male adults and truck drivers who entered the country from South Sudan through Elegu border.

While handing over the recovered patients to Arua district and Municipal officials on Friday, Dr. Philbert Nyeko, the Arua regional referral hospital director said the hospital is now left with 26 positive cases being managed with a total of 67 contacts under quarantine at Arua school of nursing and Arua prisons primary school.

“Here in Arua hospital, we have cumulatively admitted 34 patients. Of these 34 patients, we have so far discharged five and we now have three more to be discharged and so, we will be left with about 26 cases,” Nyeko said.

“Initially, we admitted five truck drivers from Tanzania; they were all treated, they turned negative and they were discharged. After that, we now have COVID-19 positive persons coming through Elegu. Mr RDC, they are all our sons of the land, so all the 29 people are from West Nile,” Nyeko added.

He noted that of the 29 cases, only five are truck drivers while the rest are from the community.

As a result, Nyeko warned that if no additional care is taken, the number is likely to rise.

“Today, we would like to take the opportunity to discharge another three group of people that would bring the number of COVID-19 patients treated successfully and discharged from Arua hospital to eight. So, these eight will be a success story for the team that are treating COVID-19 in Arua hospital,” Nyeko stated.

But he observed that as they discharge, they equally continue having unprecedented challenges with treatment.

“First is the inadequacy of the space. Initially, we had planned for 22, we had improvised and gone to 31 but even that space is being taken up. If cases continue to rise, we will have no where to put them. But as guided by the task force, we are now exploring the possibility of using Arua school of nursing as our treatment centre so that we can have more people,” Nyeko stressed.

He also said one of their biggest challenge is lack of protective equipment but continued to appeal to government to hasten the processes of procuring and supplying the equipment.

Nyeko assured the public that the discharged cases have recovered and now okay, adding that they are now not a threat to anyone so, people should welcome them back in the community.

However, Mr Mayor Buga, the Arua district secretary for social services urged the medics to consider following up the discharged patients for post-COVID-19 treatment.

Meanwhile Ms Kalsum Abdu, the Arua Municipality Deputy Mayor who received the two residents of River Oli Division appealed to the members of the community to receive and treat those discharged very well in terms of feeding and care.

“These people have been here isolated, they had a lot of trauma and for us as family members, let us receive them very well and give them the best diet ever,” Abdu said.

Mr Nahori Oya, the Arua resident district commissioner (RDC) commended Arua hospital health workers managing COVID-19 cases for what he termed as ‘job well done.’

He said as government, they will do their best to support medics so that the war against the pandemic is won.

The discharged patients also received certificates indicating that they successfully underwent treatment.