Harare eyes 500 beds for Covid-19 patients

Source: Harare eyes 500 beds for Covid-19 patients | The Herald

Harare eyes 500 beds for Covid-19 patients
Minister Chidawu

Health Reporter

Harare is expected to have about 500 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients ready for use next week following the completion of renovations at some of its designated facilities.

Most of the beds, which include 50 Intensive Care Unit beds, are at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital is expected to complete final preparations to the reserved wards in the coming week.

Chitungwiza district, including Seke, is working on additional beds to complement work in Harare, as the Government intensifies the fight against Covid-19.

The private sector is also complementing Government’s efforts in combating Covid-19.

Speaking after visiting Parirenyatwa, Wilkins and Beatrice Road infectious disease hospitals in Harare yesterday to assess progress regarding the Covid-19 response, Provincial Affairs Minister Oliver Chidawu said Harare would like as many beds as possible, but will work within the confines of available budget.

“From the tour we can safely say by Monday next week we should be ready with about 520 or so beds, which includes Parirenyatwa, Wilkins and maybe in another weeks’ time here (at Beatrice Hospital) we will be ready again with more beds that will add up to about 600 beds ready for occupation,” said Minister Chidawu.

Speaking at the same occasion, deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said Covid-19 had no formular, hence the Government must not be caught napping.

“What we are doing is only preparation, but if things get out of hand, we will need to extend to open spaces like stadiums if need be,” said Dr Mangwiro.

He said in the preparation plan, it was important to have ICU beds in place, and Harare now had more than 50 beds ready in case things go out of hand.

“We have stadiums, we have churches, we have places where people can go to, but for now, we are quite happy that most of the preparations are at an advanced stage, said Dr Mangwiro.

“Our ICUs are fully equipped now with negative pressure systems. By Monday, Parirenyatwa and Wilkins will be ready with negative pressure systems.”

Dr Mangwiro said negative pressures breathe out aerosols with the virus to make the environment safe for health workers.

“The most important thing is to make sure that the front line workers are safe and this is going on well,” he said.

Dr Mangwiro said while Harare was getting ready, there was also need to ensure that all other provinces got prepared as well.

“We are not only limiting our preparedness to Harare,” he said.

“Marondera is close by and other beds are also being prepared, so is Chitungwiza and all other health facilities throughout the country, they are busy preparing for Covid-19.”

Dr Mangwiro said Zimbabwe was privileged to have all this time to prepare for worst case scenarios since other countries were taken by surprise.