Byo’s isolation centre has no ICU, ventilator

©️ THORNGROVE Infectious Diseases Hospital, the city’s main isolation centre, still has no Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a ventilator, critical in the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19), Mayor Solomon Mguni has said.
In a weekly update outlining the activities the City of Bulawayo is undertaking to tackle Covid-19, Mguni said Bulawayo continued to face a number of resource gaps, a development that negatively affects efficient response to the pandemic.
Mguni said the city has inadequate human resources should cases of Covid-19 increase.
To date, Bulawayo has recorded 12 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease and one death. Nationally, the country has recorded 34 cases, including four deaths and five recoveries.
“While Thorngrove Hospital at present can admit anything from asymptomatic to mild cases, it does not have ICU or High Dependency Unit (HDU) facilities nor a ventilator. It also has no accommodation for isolating staff that may be exposed,” Mguni said.
He also said the hospital was in need of more oxygen canisters, flow metres, delivers tubes and masks or nasal prongs and highlighted that the rapid response teams also have inadequate fuel and airtime for surveillance.
The mayor recommended that the Health ministry avails fuel and airtime for surveillance and that acting provincial medical director Welcome Mlilo expedite secondment of 15 nurses to BCC as per commitment to ensure efficient response.
The mayor also recommended expediting infrastructure renovations for piped oxygen at the institution.
“We propose the need for invoking the relevant laws and subsequent written commitment — from the powers that be — and Standard Operating Procedures for an already capacitated, or semi-capacitated facility to take in the one or two critical cases  immediately, should there be need for such services.
“The commitment by the Health ministry to house laboratory staff at hotels, in the name of infection prevention and control, the acting PMD must lobby so BCC staff also benefit,” he added.
Meanwhile, a total of 380 contacts of all the positive cases have since been identified, classified and followed up. Eleven cases recorded in the city are due to active local transmission.
Mguni also said the city’s seven rapid response teams have followed up a total of 223 cases consisting people complaining of Covid-19 related epidemiological link, signs and have submitted a total of 661 specimens of people that fit the case definition to laboratories for Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests to detect the virus.


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