Government clarifies on Mulago: ‘It is not for VIPs”

Coronavirus outbreak

Government has refuted claims that Mulago National Referral Hospital has been designated to treat only Very Important Persons (VIPs) and closed to the rest of the public as a means of controlling the surge in numbers.

Government spokesperson and Minister for Information, Judith Nabakooba said this is not true.

In an article by the Observer last week, it reported that a section of the hospital was closed and only VIPs would be permitted to access services. The specific section closed was the COVID-19 sample collection center.

This accordingly was aimed at controlling numbers of people seeking to be screened for potential exposure to the coronavirus, Mulago national referral hospital has temporarily closed its Covid-19 sample collection center.

Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy executive director of Mulago hospital, said the Covid-19 sample collection centre at the referral hospital was closed on Tuesday, August 18. She said all suspected cases and especially people who wanted to travel have been referred to Kiswa health center in Bugolobi and Makerere University for screening.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona also said that Mulago hospital being a treatment and isolation center ‘We don’t want patients moving in and meeting people dropping samples. It’s only VIPs, like MPs and ministers allowed to go there for sample collection since their number is not big.”

In a statement released on their social media platforms, the Health Ministry announced that Mulago will remain isolation and Covid-19 treatment unit only to patients that have been confirmed for the virus.

The notice reads: “Mulago National Referral Hospital has been closed as a COVID-19 sample collection site for all individuals. Mulago NRH will remain isolation and COVID-19 Treatment Unit ONLY for all patients who have been confirmed for COVID-19.”

However, Nabakoba now claims this is not true.

“There is wrong information circulating that Mulago Hospital has been closed off to the public when it comes to treating and taking COVID19 samples,” she said.

“The rumor that it has been designated for VIPs only is not true. Please continue going to Mulago for assistance and other government hospitals.”

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