- "Our staff are highly exposed to infections from patients who sneak into the hospital without using the official entrance where they will be screened before getting into the hospital. Our hospital doesn't have a perimeter fence and you find some patients show signs of Covid-19 when they are already being attended to by the staff inside..." Dr Tiringe tells the Zimbabwe Voice.
By Elvis Dumba in Banket
BANKET District Hospital is facing transport challenges for Covid-19 infections contact tracing as cases continue to surge in the town.
Banket which is about 20km away from Chinhoyi, a Covid-19 hotspot under lockdown, has recorded 19 new positive cases from Monday up to Thursday morning with seven being medical staff.
Zvimba District Acting Medical Director Dr Tiringe told the Zimbabwe Voice that vehicle and fuel challenges at the health institution is hampering Covid-19 responses especially contact tracing of people exposed to those who are testing positive.
“We are facing challenges in contact tracing as we don’t have fuel. We also don’t have vehicles for the exercise resulting in challenges to effectively deal with the infections” he said.
Dr Tiringe said medical staff who are testing positive are forced to self isolate at home resulting in creation of staff gaps at the institution.
“Our medical staff numbers are being affected with those testing positive going on isolation at home and that creates staff gaps in some departments and also disrupts operations as departments will have to temporarily close so that fumigation takes place”
Dr Tiringe said the hospital isolation ward is not well equipped to handle severe cases of infections as a lot needs to be done.
“Our isolation ward needs upgrading and equipped with ventilators. We have some oxygen but the quantity needs to be increased as well” he said during an interview
Medical personnel at the hospital are at risk and exposed to infections from patients and visitors who use undesignated entry points to the hospital without being checked at the main entrance since there is no perimeter fence. People use undesignated entry points to get into the hospital.
“Our staff are highly exposed to infections from patients who sneak into the hospital without using the official entrance where they will be screened before getting into the hospital. Our hospital doesn’t have a perimeter fence and you find some patients show signs of Covid-19 when they are already being attended to by the staff inside.
“We have set up a tent at the main entrance so that any patients who are coming in the hospital are screened before they are served but we have a challenge of some patients and visitors who use undesignated entry points to the hospital,” he said.
Residents of Banket which has not been put under lockdown like other districts in Mashonaland West are complacent as bottle stores and bars are still operating openly.
Police presence and enforcement is surprisingly very minimal with some bottle stores closing after 10pm. To add to the complacency, most Covid-19 preventivne measures such as the wearing of face masks are not being observed. – Zimbabwe Voice ■