Govt to increase hospital beds capacity for Covid-19 patients

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is set to increase the bedding capacity at hospitals in Bulawayo and Harare in response to an increase in Covid-19 patients in need of hospitalisation.

The announcement was made by Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Opah Muchinguri-Kashiri, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the COVID-19 Outbreak, Tuesday.

She was giving an update of the progress report on the vaccination procurement and roll-out program.

Covid-19 hospitalised cases have been of the increase as the third wave surges, with some hospitals running out of bedding facilities and some patients being turned away.

To date, 811 hospitalised cases have been recorded, with 109 being new admissions, 259 asymptomatic, 432 mild to moderate, 97 severe and 23 in Intensive Care Units.

1 247 494 people have received their first dosage of the vaccine while 649 843.

“Government is pleased to announce that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has developed a COVID-19 Third Wave e Containment Plan. This plan includes increasing the bed capacity at Mpilo and Sally Mugabe Central Hospitals,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

ā€œEkusileni Hospital in Bulawayo and Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital have since been designated as Covid-19 District Hospitals in their respective provinces.”

Ekusileni hospital is yet to admit patients after undergoing renovations last year.

Muchinguri-Kashiri noted that the health ministry will strengthen the private sector participation and to improve the conditions of service for health workers.

“There shall be operationalisation of virtual hospitals in which every district will have a Rapid Response Team to attend to cases of acute COVID-19 clinical distress and a review of COVID-19 risk allowances,” she said.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said to further curb the spread of the vaccine, cabinet approved that there be decongesting of both public and private sector workplaces.

“In taking the lead, Government has further reduced its workforce to 10 per cent, on a two-weeks rotational interval. Priority will be given to the vaccinated personnel,” she said.

“The Courts of Law will be opened only for remand and urgent cases. All civil servants should be vaccinated and those that fall ill without having been vaccinated will not be entitled to the COVID-19 insurance.”

She said it is now mandatory for civil servants to be tested for COVID-19 at the commencement and end of the two-week rotational interval and that a locum-based COVID-19 risk allowance payment model will be adopted for the health personnel in the red zone as part of the incentive schemes.

According to the latest daily update report on Covid-19 statistics, 2 683 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours while 50 people died.

In total, 88 415 cases, 58 155 recoveries and 2 747 deaths have been recorded.

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