Rural clinic closed after staff test positive to Covid-19

By Tinashe Mungazi

VILLAGERS and expecting mothers seeking medical attention were left stranded on Thursday after authorities were forced to close Makwandara clinic in Hwange district after most staff members tested positive to Covid-19.

According to authorities, five members of staff tested positive to Covid 19 prompting the suspension of operations in an effort to contain further infections.

Hwange District Medical Officer, Dr Fungai Musinami told CITE that the development has necessitated the suspension of services since the bulk of staff had tested positive to Covid-19.

“Yes, I can confirm that we have 5 members mostly clinical staff that tested positive to Covid-19. Let me reiterate that It’s not the only clinic in the district whose staff have tested positive but at Makwandara the number was significant hence it affected the running of the station in terms of duties. The staff are currently self-isolating at home while two members of staff were left to redirect patients to other facilities,” said Dr Musinami.

She said they had since moved expecting mothers who were staying at their waiting shelters and due for delivery to other nearby centres while patients were advised to also visit other clinics.

“We moved all the maternity mothers to Songwa and Lupote for their deliveries while the staff are recovering. The two staffers that were put on standby have been redirecting people to other clinics while the staff recovers.”

The rural health care centre caters for communities in Makwandara, Magoli, Gurambira, Chezhou and Cross Dete among others.

The district is battling a spike in infections which authorities are blaming on complacency, low uptake of vaccines and contact tracing challenges.

Government was recently forced to operationalise the 5 Miles isolation centre following a surge in cases.

The isolation centre still requires equipment such as oxygen cylinders and other ancillary items to enable it to deal with serious cases.

Its current occupant, a pregnant woman who was forced to be admitted at the centre after being evicted by her landlord after testing positive is showing mild symptoms of the virus.

“We have one patient who is currently admitted at the isolation centre. The patient is showing mild symptoms we isolated her there because her landlord kicked her out after learning she had tested positive to Covid-19,” said Dr Musinami.

The development also comes as the government has committed 15 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to hotspot districts of Hwange, Lupane, Nkayi and Umguza.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, the district had recorded 27 positive cases, 13 being Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) employees, 9 non-HCCL and 5 from outside concession bringing the total number to 133 cases.

One Covid-19 related death was recorded in Mpumalanga suburb against 72 recoveries while HCCL now has 61 cases under self-isolation.

Total active cases within the concession stand at 115.

Zimbabwe on Thursday received 2 million COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac.

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