Thorngrove Hospital nears reopening

Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital, one of the designated Covid-19 isolatolation and treatment centres in Bulawayo is close to reopening with the bulk of the construction work having been done.

Workers are now doing the plumbing and are yet to place furniture and bedding.

The Covid-19 Isolation Ward at Thorngrove closed on April 22, 2020 for renovations and was expected to reopen after two weeks but months passed as the hospital failed to meet its deadline due to funding constraints

At the last visit, officials noted they still had to install medical gases, as they were still debating whether to use oxygen cylinders or install a full tank at the institution.

In an interview with CITE, Director of the Health Services Department, Dr Edwin Sibanda, confirmed the installation of medical gases had been completed.

“The gas installation has been done. We settled to fill oxygen cylinders as and when they are needed but provisions will be made to have a tank installed. On the last check, workers were sorting out the final touches which was plumbing, as they were fixing leaks. I’m sure the supply of furniture, beds and small lockers is next,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said although Thorngrove was yet to be officially opened, the institution had continued admitting patients albeit in limited numbers.

“We were treating mild cases as we didn’t have capacity to treat severe cases so when we officially open we will be prepared to treat the moderate to severe cases,” he said.

However, Dr Sibanda was unable to give the official commissioning date of Thorngrove, saying that was the purview of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“Remember Covid-19 is a national response so the official launch will be handled by the provincial medical office and the ministry but yes Thorngrove is 99 percent complete,” said the Health Services Director.

Acting Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director, Dr Welcome Mlilo, said he was not on the ground but could confirm “the super structure is complete, including the installation of medical gases.”

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