Professor-Eli-Katunguka-Rwakishaya-the-Vice-Chancellor-Kyambogo-University. Photo-by-Ronard Shabomwe

Officials of Kyambogo University have appealed to the Government to reopen a #Covid-19 Management facility at Namboole National Stadium isolation of Corona virus positive students.

Addressing the media about the COVID-19 situation in Kyambogo University on Monday, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Eli Katunguka Rwakishaya said that the situation in the University is worrying because of the number of COVID-19 cases so far registered.

According to Vice Chancellor, Kyambogo has already registered 50 Corona Virus positive cases of Students and eight positive cases from staff and no one has died fortunately.

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“So far, many students and staff have tested positive. In addition, many students have flue and cough and a number of them have refused to be tested, hence the situation may be worse than is reported,” says Vice Chancellor Katunguka.

Professor says for this reason, the Government should reopen Namboole specifically for managing these positive students and staff because the students who test positive have nowhere to go, so they keep on coming back in the university and others are infecting friends in hostels.

In the light of the fast-growing Covid-19 incidents, Ugandan health ministry transformed parts of Namboole National Stadium into an auxiliary hospital to cater for the rapidly increasing numbers last year 2020.

The facility began with a capacity of 1,500 beds, as health officials continued to track the COVID-19 situation in the country, later, the facility was closed.

Director of Health Services at Kyambogo medical center Grace Meregurwa, similarly says that the government should reopen Namboole National Stadium for the positive cases.  He adds that health ministry has taken over 800 samples which the university is yet to receive the results and they are worried that the cases from these samples might be many due to the existing flu and cough among students.

With the cases increasing rapidly, Kyambogo has put in place strict measures like reducing number of staff coming to the university, lecturing strictly going online and limiting the number of people accessing the university.

Caroline Ayebare, a student leader serving as minister of Health in 17th Guild leadership calls upon the student’s fraternity to adhere to Covid-19 SOPs to avoid the further worsening of the situation.

She says that no person is allowed to enter without masks and washing hands, but when students reach inside the university, they pocket the masks and cannot social distance themselves, which Ayebare says is dangerous to the community.

Last week, Kyambogo University announced that there will be no more physical lectures due to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the University. Professor Katunguka notes that they left with no other option apart from embracing Open Distance and electronic learning- ODeL policy.

“Before reopening the university, we had planned for blended learning involving both physical and online learning, however, due to the existence of COVID-19 at the university, we coincided with our earlier plan of going online,” adds Katunguka.

He further noted that unfortunately, some section of students is opposing ODeL, adding that that is why students led by the Guild President were striking last week saying that they wanted to study physically but the university shall not allow that.

According to Professor, the university has enough infrastructures and capacity to study online, adding that “I urge all Deans and Heads of Department to engage the students through ODeL as planned. I am glad that a number of faculties have already taken this move”.

On the issue of vaccination, he said that out of 1000 staff of Kyambogo, only 400 have already received the vaccination and calls upon the remaining 600 staff who are still refusing, to come up and go for vaccination. Kyambogo has over 30,000 students both at University and outside the University.