WEST End Hospital has been closed for non Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) related cases following a case which succumbed to the disease, thus making it a treatment isolation centre, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said on Wednesday.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The deceased hailed from Mhondoro was admitted at West End Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.
I am aware of one of the cases that tested positive yesterday. Correctly so, this was someone who had been admitted and was still being seen actually at the casualty at West End Hospital. And while they were waiting in the Casualty, the Hospital immediately put into action the COVID-19 Alertness on the whole hospital.
“So they were fully aware and very wise taking every candidate who comes in as a suspected case. So that is a good starting point,” he said.
The Health Minister added, ” It means they were very careful treating that patient as a COVID case before they even sent the samples for testing. That is what happened”
The Hospital according to the Minister has since been closed for other admissions to treat only COVID-19 suspected or confirmed cases.
He said bodies of cases succumbing to the disease caused by this Severe Acute Respiratory Acute Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV 2) are being handled through the laid down standard procedures.
“The relatives have been advised. The deceased will immediately be put in a coffin which will be sealed. The funeral or burial will take place within 24 Hours. Its from where the patient is to burial. Our environmental health officers are there to make sure everything is organised. Contact tracing has since started since last night into this morning. They were getting in touch with all the relatives from the place she came from,” said Dr Moyo.
Dr Moyo revealed the patient was from Mhondoro and that his Ministry has dispatched Environmental Health Officers for contact tracing of her relatives while another team is in Harare following up on her workmates.
“The medical staff who are working with the patient, we are also aware of their names and making sure they are being followed up. There will be continuous follow up of everyone who has been in contact with this case. We will continue to make sure there will be 24 Hour Monitoring of the Hospital,” he said.
However, a source told this publication the Hospital does not have Personal Protective Equipment which could have led to her neglect by health workers who attended her. The source said the deceased nurse was in the Hospital for three days after her relatives had complained to Management for her to be attended at the Hospital. But the Hospital will get some now that it will be handling COVID-19 cases.
Although unconfirmed, the source said the deceased was aged 86 with self exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo adding that she was mother to Former Minister of State Sylvester Mguni and step mother to former Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission Chairperson Goodson Mguni.
“This #COVID-19 case from a rural community is sad with serious and far reaching implications,” Prof Moyo tweeted.