Friday, 17 April 2020

200 HOSPITAL BEDS FOR CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS


More than 2 000 hospital beds in all provinces of the country have been identified for serious Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalisation.

These beds are in Harare (610), Bulawayo (270), Mashonaland East (220), Manicaland (200), Mashonaland West (180), Midlands (180), Masvingo (160), Matabeleland North (140) and Matabeleland South (120).

From these totals, each province has also identified beds for intensive care treatment. With assistance from a partner, Gweru has put up a state of the art isolation facility.

For other facilities, preparation was aided by disbursement of financial commitment from Treasury from which $154 million has so far been used.

In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Agnes Mahomva said a “reasonable number” of the identified beds were ready for use should there be any case requiring admission.

“In addition to our central referral hospitals, we have also asked all provincial hospitals to prepare isolation facilities in case they get cases and in case the country get an influx of patients requiring admission like what is happening in other countries. This is still work in progress but should any of the provinces get a case they should be able to at least isolate,” said Dr Mahomva. 

She said teams were on the ground assessing the status of the identified beds to see if there are suitable for both serious and critical cases.

Dr Mahomva said the number of beds in each province varied depending on the model institutions were using. She said some institutions were identifying stand-alone facilities while others were reserving a certain number of beds within the main hospital facility.

Dr Mahomva said Government would continue working with its partners to ensure that the decentralisation plan shapes according to plan.

“We should be able to assist as many patients as we can should the outbreak affect us as is the case in other countries and to achieve that we will continue working with our partners coupled with our resources,” said Dr Mahomva.

Apart from Government administered health facilities, Dr Mahomva said availed resources were also disbursed to local authority facilities such as Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare and Thongrove Infectious Diseases Hospital in Bulawayo.

Isolation of Covid-19 cases, which has now been decentralised to all parts of the country started from Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital. 

However, cases have been emanating from as far as Victoria Falls, forcing Government to quickly decentralise isolation facilities.

In the same vein, Government has also decentralised laboratory testing of Covid-19 cases with the National TB Reference Laboratory at Mpilo Central Hospital now offering the service to samples from the southern part of the country.

All central and provincial hospitals have since been advised to start testing all suspected cases using the rapid test kits for screening potential Covid-19 cases. Herald

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