HEALTH and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro said he was impressed by the progress made in renovating COVID-19 isolation centres in Harare.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
He expressed hope that intensive care units (ICUs) at Wilkins Hospital and Parirenyatwa that were undergoing renovations as COVID-19 centres will be able to admit patients from Monday.
Mangwiro made the remarks yesterday when he toured Chitungwiza Central Hospital after a similar tour at Wilkins and Parirenyatwa Hospitals, accompanied by Harare Metropolitan minister Oliver Chidau.
“We have come to see the progress, where the obstacles are and removing them, making sure we are ready for COVID-19,” Mangwiro said.
“Wilkins and Parirenyatwa are left with hyper filters which are coming this weekend. By Monday, all ICUs at these hospitals will be ready to admit patients.”
He added: “I was here about two weeks ago and they (contractors) were actually starting, but today, the rooms are much improved.
“The painting and plumbing is almost done. We were also at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital and there is massive progress. What is left now is the ICU area at the hospital. We are very happy with the progress.”
City of Harare health services director Prosper Chonzi, however, said well-trained personnel was needed to handle COVID-19 patients.
“We need highlytrained staff to manage patients at the ICUs because the current staff are not yet prepared,” Chonzi said.
“We are fortunate that for now, we are not yet overwhelmed by numbers. But the situation can change anytime because we still have a lot of traffic from other countries. As you know, our neighbours are recording hundreds of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.”
Chitungwiza Hospital chief executive Enock Mayida told NewsDay Weekender that plans were to use local hotels and lodges for isolation of frontline health workers who risk contracting the virus from interacting with patients.
“We spoke with the city council regarding Hotel Nyamutamba and Magolis resort lodges for it to house frontline health workers because the moment they interact with COVID-19 patients, they can’t go back home,” he said.
“They need to be in isolation for about two weeks to ensure that they have not been infected. Arrangements are being made to make sure this happens that as soon as possible.”
Chitungwiza acting director of health and environmental services Herbert Chirowodza said lack of resources had been stalling progress at the council-run Seke South Clinic.