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Wilkins reopens after refurbishment

by Staff reporter
03 Apr 2020 at 08:58hrs | Views
Zimbabwe's main COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre, Wilkins Hospital, will reopen its doors to the public at the weekend following a US$500 000 upgrade initiated by the Chinese business community.

The facility, which now looks like a world-class hospital, has been fitted with new equipment and has functional ICU units complete with piped oxygen.

Harare City Council health services director Prosper Chonzi said the development would go a long way in ensuring critical patients got the best attention.

The facility had no critical care equipment but had been designated for management of COVID-19 cases.

"We are very happy about this development and now we have some ventilators — about five. This facility can accommodate 10. We can now manage critically-ill patients," Chonzi said.

"We are just finishing up and maybe by Saturday we will be open."

The Chinese Embassy tweeted on their official account commending the good work.

"US$500 000 and 18 days Wilkins Hospital upgraded and delivered into the service for the Zimbabwean people by the Chinese business community. Together we stand strong."

Meanwhile, the Health ministry has cautioned against wearing of masks by people who do not have COVID-19 saying this might create a false sense of security, forcing many to abandon the crucial preventive measures like handwashing and social distancing.

Of late, many people had taken to wearing masks when going into public spaces. Businesses took advantage and started selling the masks for as high as US$5 each.

However, the ministry said according to World Health Organisation statutes wearing of masks in public places by persons without symptoms was not recommended.

"In addition to the cost burden, this may create a false sense of security that can lead to the neglect of other essential preventive measures," the ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the National Reference Laboratory tested 33 samples which tested negative for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Health ministry received a consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Chinese government to help in fighting COVID-19.

Doctors and nurses at public hospitals have downed tools over lack of PPE. Worldwide, some nurses and doctors on the frontline in handling coronavirus cases, have died after being infected by patients.

Source - newsday

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