By Albert Nxumalo
In the wake of escalating Covid-19 cases particularly in Bulawayo, Government has announced that critically ill positive patients from the public sector will be admitted at Mater Dei Hospital and treated for free.
To that end Government is set to enter into an agreement with the private health facility, Cabinet announced Tuesday.
Mater Dei is said to have set aside 18 bed facility for the fast spreading pandemic that has claimed 26 lives in the country, a post Cabinet briefing statement said.
“On a related matter, Mater Dei Hospital, a private institution in Bulawayo, has developed and equipped an 18-bed COVID-19 critical care facility.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Mater Dei Hospital so that critically ill Covid-19 positive cases from the public sector can be admitted and treated at no cost to the patient” reads part of the statement adding that ” most of the Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and can be isolated at home or in isolation facilities.”
Bulawayo has become the epicentre of local transmissions and has recorded 12 deaths.
To compound the situation, the city is faced with a shortage of quarantine centres, with the three centres currently being used – Khumalo Hotel, Insinga and Standard Hotel – likely to be oversubscribed as the number of returnees coming back to the city said to be on the increase.
The Cabinet statement added that the cumulative rapid screening and PCR tests conducted as of 20 July, 2020 stood at 103 291(61 351 RDT and 41 940 PCR) inclusive of tests done at private laboratories.
The country has now recorded one thousand eight hundred and twenty (1 820) confirmed Covid-19 cases, compared to the 1034 cases recorded as at 13 July, 2020.
The number of those who have recovered has increased from the previously reported 343 to 488, while deaths have increased from nineteen (19) to twenty-six (26).
“Preventative and control measures against COVID-19 will be intensified in order to avoid overwhelming the health delivery system through the mandatory and correct donning of masks. Government will be seeking to impose stiffer penalties for the non-wearing of masks.”
Due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in workplaces most companies are scaling down operations to curb the spread.
In a statement on Tuesday, Econet Wireless revealed that some of their staff members had tested positive forcing to temporarily close all outlets from Wednesday countrywide.
“We regret to announce that some of our staff members tested positive to COVID19 and now quarantined.
“Strict measures around contact tracing and testing have been taken on the cases as guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“We, therefore, wish to inform you that all Econet Shops will be temporarily closed, effective Wednesday, July 22, 2020, until further notice”.