Suspected Coronavirus Patient Arrested After Escaping From Quarantine


By Agnes Kiconco

Charles Okello, a suspected Coronavirus patient, who on Wednesday, 1st April 2020, escaped from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, was later discovered and arrested in Omoro district.

Before his escape, he was quarantined on 30th March 2020 at Lanenober Health Centre III in Omoro District before being transferred to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

After his transfer, Okello escaped from his room during the cleaning, claiming that he had not been fed for three days.

Fortunately, he had tested negative before his escape. Nevertheless, Okello was supposed to be quarantined for another 14 days for monitoring and follow-up purposes, to confirm that he wasn’t infected with Coronavirus. But Okello escaped during this period which proved very risky just in case he was indeed carrying the virus.

Some people under quarantine, allegedly claim  that they witnessed bribery of officials by their colleagues to allow them leave the quarantine.

However, the good news is that more than 20 people including Chinese and Ugandans, who escaped from the quarantine were arrested and about two of them tested positive for Coronavirus. The rest were taken back to quarantine and those who tested positive, are now receiving treatment.

The government put all travellers, who arrived in Uganda from countries with high cases of Coronavirus, into institutional quarantine for at least 14 days. But unfortunately, many of the quarantined people allegedly escape with the help of high profile persons, or by bribing security agents or government officials protecting the hotel in Entebbe.

Nevertheless, the escapees will be charged with negligence as states the law, according to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, “any person who unlawfully or negligently does any act which is and which he or she knows or has reason to believe to be likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

All this is being done, to ensure that there is no further spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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