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'We don't want Covid-19 cases' says hospital - and it paid dearly for its foolishness

09 Jul 2020 at 15:45hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe authorities have not been testing for covid-19 as aggressively as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended repeatedly, especially among the local community. And now it is emerging the regime that instead of testing suspected cases even our biggest health care institutions have been routinely sending the cases away.  

"We have a screening process that is done at the entrance of the hospital," Dr Narcissus Dzvanga, acting United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) chief executive officer, told The Chronicle.

"So, if you got any features or temperatures are within Covid-19 classification, you don't even go beyond the screening point."

Of the most foolish and irresponsible policies that takes the biscuit!
You send the suspected covid-19 patient away! Where do you want them to go? The least the hospital or clinic should do is advise the individual they might have covid-19 and what would be the best course of action for them to take.

Stopping the suspected covid-19 patient going beyond the screening point is all very well in protecting every in the health care institution but turning such a person lose on the rest of society, knowing just how contagious and deadly this corona virus is, is plain foolish.

What if the patient should pass the virus to someone else who then goes through the hospital's screening process because they showed no covid-19 symptoms? Indeed, this is what probably happened at UBH resulting in a patient infecting 18 health care workers with covid-19.

"The index case is a young man who got injured while trying to carry a 50kg bag of maize and got paralysed," explained Dr Dzvanga. "There was no direct finding of Covid-19 at presentation. But when we started to test the patient routinely that is when it was picked. The staff that you are talking about are from the same ward where he was admitted."
The standing instructions to all everyone and not just health care workers must be:
"If you come across anyone you suspect has covid-19 infection, you must act swiftly to make sure you or anyone else do not get the virus by washing your hands thoroughly, wearing the mask and all other personal protective equipment. Advise the covid-19 suspect of you suspension, of their need to self-isolate and to be tested for the virus a.s.a.p.
"Get as much personal details of the covid-19 suspect, where they have been, who they have been in conduct with and from who they may have got the virus. Pass all these details to the nearest health care institution or relevant authority whose responsibility is carry out the covid-19 tests, tracking and tracing.

"If we all act responsible, we will contain covid-19. If we do not, then many, many more will die. The life you save by acting responsibly may well be your family's or your own!"
There is no doubt that corona virus is spreading in Zimbabwe and is going to take a heavy toll.

"Corona virus: according to my own estimates, Zimbabwe could bury 50 000 to 100 000 people in weeks, months to come. Unfortunately, the people and the economy do not like lockdowns. So, a biblical catastrophe is on the way. Frightening new figures mean deaths are coming, soon." twittered Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, Mpilo (one of UBH) Clinical Director, a colleague of Dr Dzvanga.

"If you have covid-19, you don't even go beyond the screening point!" UBH is a public health institution, not private, and one of the biggest referral hospital in the land! If UBH does not admit the sick, where else do you want them to go!

"Kutakurirana nyoka mhenyu, icharuma mumwe chete!" (If you flick a live snake at each other, it will bite one of you!) as one would say in Shona. UBH followed the idiotic policy sending away covid-19 cases, ill-treating them like a deadly snake to flick out, in the end 18 of its own staff got the virus. Did Dr Dzvanga flick them and their relatives out too?

The blundering incompetence in the handling of the coronavirus in Zimbabwe has turned this COVID-19 pandemic from a disaster into biblical catastrophe. All those responsible for this must be held to account; we owe it to the COVID-19 dead, to ourselves and to posterity - how else can we be sure this madness will never be repeated ever again! 

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