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Mpilo deaths prompt mass Covid-19 testing

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2021 at 06:28hrs | Views
MPILO Central Hospital mortality rates have shot up, with two staffers testing Covid-19 positive daily, forcing authorities to conduct tests for all 2 100 staff members and 348 patients currently admitted to the public institution.

On average, the hospital would record three to seven deaths from all its wards but of late 10-12 people are dying daily. With a majority of Covid-19 active cases and deaths occurring in communities, Mpilo authorities say it was important for them to establish if none of the staffers and patients are at risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Two weeks ago, the hospital reported that 206 staffers had contracted Covid-19 since the outbreak of the disease in March last year.

The 900-bed hospital caters mainly for the southern region which covers Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South as well as Masvingo and Midlands provinces. Of the 206, 155 are nurses, nine doctors, 12 general hands and 12 from the pharmacy. Two are counsellors and the other two are lab technicians.

The 206 are part of the 1 547 health workers who have tested positive countrywide and seven who have succumbed to the global pandemic.

In a letter addressed to all heads of departments, Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said there were enough resources to ensure everyone at Mpilo tests for Covid-19.

"This memo serves to advise all members of staff to go for Covid-19 testing at our testing centre meant for staff and in patients. Please take note that all patients admitted at Mpilo Central Hospital are to be tested, especially all those with co-morbidities," said Prof Ngwenya.

"These measures have been necessitated by the prevailing clinical situation on the ground. Please kindly decongest all wards where it is possible to do so."

In an interview, Prof Ngwenya said Mpilo will request for more test kits in case they run out before they can finish the process.

"We used to record on average three to seven deaths per day now we are at 10-12 per day on average. That's why we want to make sure that we are not missing any Covid-19 cases who may be in our wards. We also need to ensure that patients receive appropriate care while protecting staff, relatives and the wide public from being infected," said Prof Ngwenya.

"We are seeing an increasing number of people dying in the wards so we need to make sure that we do not take any chances in case they have Covid-19. We also have an increasing number of staff being infected so we want to know what is really going on in the hospital and tackle the root problem from there."

Prof Ngwenya also said on average two Mpilo staffers are testing Covid-19 positive daily and it was a cause for concern.

"We continue to warn our people to be careful to observe measures that have been put in place for us to avert contracting and spreading this virus. It is no joke and we need people to co-operate with health officials so that we don't find ourselves with tragedy of recording many deaths when we can stay at home, wash our hands and mask up to save lives," added Prof Ngwenya.

Source - chronicle

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