BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
INGUTSHENI Central Mental Hospital in Bulawayo has recorded 15 COVID-19 positive cases among its staff and inmates although they are fully vaccinated.
The issue was confirmed yesterday by Ingutsheni Hospital chief executive Nemache Mawere, who told Southern Eye that the COVID-19 outbreak occurred last week.
“We had a massive outbreak of both patients and staff who contracted the COVID-19 virus a fortnight ago,” Mawere said.
“I would like to encourage people to get vaccinated because after our institution was affected, we did not experience any severe cases because everyone had got the jabs,” he said.
Mawere said it was likely that members of staff who lived outside the institution were the ones who transmitted the infection.
“I believe that the members of staff are the ones who have been spreading the COVID-19 virus to patients because they get exposed to many people out there. We had two of our staff members who fell sick recently. What we have been doing is that we go to every ward to test patients who were in contact with the members of staff who had contracted the virus,” he said.
Mawere said there was overcrowding at the institution.
“We are facing challenges in trying to isolate patients due to lack of space. As you know, we have been facing space challenges for a long time. This is worrying because space is imperative in terms of social distancing in order to curb the spread of the virus. We are doing all we can to keep the institution in shape,” he said.
The mental health institution’s latest statistics reveal that out of 650 patients, 40% are females, while 60% are males. There were fears that the institution might have a serious COVID-19 outbreak due to overcrowding.