HARARE City Owned Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital is considering moving all patients to Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital (BRIDH) to pave way for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases should there be confirmed or suspected.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Wilkins is the designated isolation facility for Harare along with other northern cities and towns. Speaking to over 67 health workers from the Public and Private Sectors at a training of trainers workshop on Monday, Harare City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said the City has got two infectious disease hospitals.
For Harare we have got two isolation facilities. We have Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital and here that is Wilkins.
“So most of our patients should we have a case, most of the other patients that we normally manage here will be transferred to Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital and we close this facility to remain only with patients with suspected COVID infection, probable infection or confirmed cases,” he said.
He said they will cover the whole perimeter of the hospital with plastic sheeting, a signal that they are now handling suspected or confirmed COVID cases.
“So all our TB patients we will move them over to BRIDH. All our…if we have typhoid, if we have all those that collect their ART medication, we will move them to BRIDH.
“You will not even need us to make a statement because we will close off this whole area.We will put black plastic sheeting all around the perimeter of the hospital. So even the media will know there is something happening inside. That is what we will do. It will be loud but we will have no option but to do that,” said Dr Chonzi.
Dr Chonzi said there are some renovations that are currently happening in preparing for the arrival of COVID 19 in the country.
“You will again see our donning room where various steps are taken as health workers prepare to go to wards to attend to patients. This has to be meticulously done. Any mistake will result in you contracting the infection, or contaminating the next person or families at home. So the facility that you will see is the one with seven beds but we can move that to 35 beds.
“That is the built up area. But should have a bigger outbreak, we have enough space to put up tents through working with our partner organisations. We will just define our patient and health worker flow and this can be one big facility for managing this,” he said.
Aside from Wilkins Hospital, Health Ministry Director for Epidemiology and Disease Control Dr Portia Manangazira said there are four more isolation facilities in the country namely ThornGroove Hospital in Bulawayo, Kadoma Hospital, Gweru Provincial Hospital and Mutare Provincial Hospital