PAKWACH/ARUA. The Minister of state for primary health care Dr Joyce Miriku has told politicians in Northern Uganda to shut up and leave health workers to do their job of saving lives.

Moriku was referring to recent incidents in Arua and Gulu where politicians led locals in a demonstration to reject admission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients into their respective regional hospitals.

Dr Moriku who was jointly addressing journalists together with the state minister for internal affairs Mr Mario Obiga Kania asked the police to arrest such politicians and charge them with attempted murder.

“Politicians who know nothing about diseases should shut up! Politicians are using coronavirus for politicking and for gaining cheap popularity because they cannot do anything in their constituencies relevant. The only thing is to resort to disorganizing some people and to practice cheap popularity which is too much for Northern Uganda and West Nile”, She said.

Meanwhile in Pakwach, Dr Moriku cautioned security operatives at boarder points against complacency in adhering to measures for combating coronavirus (COVID-19).

Moriku observed that at different border entry points, police officers on duty do not have hand washing facilities and are non-compliant with social distance measure of 4 metres apart which is risky.

"I pity our security officer, they are at risk, as I was coming, one picked my identification card and ended up sharing it with everyone within close contact to one another, this is dangerous health wise", Moriku said.

Moriku made the revelation on Saturday while meeting the Pakwach district Covid-19 task force on the new measures of screening at border points and prepare the entry point as government moves to enforce the standard operation procedure for the international trucks at boarder points.

Pakwach district police is among the 7 West Nile districts selected by government as a resting and parking point for cargo truck drivers before proceeding to the next destination, a move that the district task force have disagreed with.

Mr Swaib Toko, the Pakwach resident district commissioner acknowledged the receiving the directive but questioned the conditions attached to it.

Dr Joice Moriku 2

He argued that the proximity of Karuma point as another chosen resting point is enough to enable drivers to proceed to the next destination without having a stopover in Pakwach.

Toko said inadequate government land to be designated as a parking yard for big trucks was the reason behind their argument while his proposal of Atara in Alwi Sub County as an alternative was rejected due to its closeness to the community and public road.

"Minister, I would like to inform you that we have a major challenge of Congolese sneaking into our country through Dei and Kasatu, we need empowerment to effectively implement the standard operation procedure for the truck drivers", Toko said.

Ms Stella Abeyto, the Chief Administrative officer Pakwach said the district has resolved to distance it's self from hosting the trucks and advised that it be moved to Goli as next centre.

She said Pakwach has been a hot spot for the coronavirus pandemic imported by the truck drivers as 4 positive cases under management in Arua and 19 under quarantine in UCC Pakwach.

"We had resolved that no parking of any truck in Pakwach, let them go direct to their next point, we do not have land to urgently put up a parking yard to strictly confine them”, she appealed.

Dr Paul Ajal the district health officer said the health workers in the district need to be trained on coronavirus pandemic cases management, referrals and transportation of the suspects to avoid mishandling of emergency cases.