Dr. Baterana Byarugaba addressing Media at Mulago National Referal Hospital. Photo by Ronard Shabomwe.

Mulago National Referral hospital has explained the circumstances under which COVID-19 patients die in Intensive Care Unit-ICU.

Few days ago, Sunday monitor reported that two patients died from a faulty oxygen plant at Mulago and that health workers use fake medical masks for doctors and unfounded doubt on the country’s capacity to respond to the pandemic.

Dr Baterana Byarugaba, the executive director Mulago explains that there were three patients who died, not two as the Sunday monitor reported.

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According to him, the patients include a 70 year old referral from Rubaga hospital ICU, a 27 year old from Hoima regional referral hospital and a 46 year old case, all died of severe COVID-19 with multi-organ dysfunction.

Commenting on oxygen supplied to patients dropped from 90 percent to 20 percent as per monitor story, Baterana revealed that oxygen is delivered to user wards through pipes when its purity is ranging between 93 percent and 100 percent.

Baterana added that, the currently installed plants are automatic and cannot generate oxygen when its purity levels go below 90 percent.

All patients in need of oxygen are connected to supply of medical grade oxygen which is always above 90 percent, which is contrary to what authors reported that patients are supplied with hot air.

Dr Baterana further explains that all medical masks used by health workers country wide meet both local and international standards and that no health worker in ICU at Mulago has contracted COVID-19. According to him, this is attributed to the training and strict adherence to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use which is highly protective, including the alleged fake masks.

By 30th November, Mulago national referral hospital had a cumulative admission of 2,456 patients, with a total discharge of 2,137 and the current admission stands at 160.

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