Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
SEVEN nurses and two doctors at Gwanda Provincial Hospital have tested Covid-19 positive and are now in self-isolation.
They all reside at Gwanda Provincial Hospital staff residence. Plans are underway to trace their close contacts at home and at work to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
A doctor and a nurse tested positive early this week forcing the hospital authorities to test all health workers at the medical institution. After the tests, another doctor and six nurses were confirmed to have contracted the virus.
In an interview, Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director, Dr Rudo Chikodzore said all the nine health personnel were in a stable condition. She said the hospital remains operational with necessary precautionary measures being taken.
“Nine members of staff comprising seven nurses and two doctors have tested positive to Covid-19 at the Gwanda Provincial Hospital during this week. They are now in self-isolation at the hospital’s staff residence.
“We have been having cases of health staff that have tested positive across the province although it doesn’t mean they could have contracted the pandemic at the workplace as they are also normal people that move around and interact with other people,” she said.
“Their cases are just like any other case of Covid-19 that is being recorded. Operations at all our health centres including Gwanda Provincial Hospital are ongoing although they have to adjust according to the number of staff they have.”
Dr Chikodzore said the testing process had improved in the province after Beitbridge and Gwanda District each received PCR machines which can run 400 tests per day.
She said availability of commodities such as swabs and chemicals remain a challenge especially when the province records an influx in the number of returnees.
“In terms of testing we are now at a better position as last week we received a PCR machine at the Beitbridge District Hospital which can run up to 400 tests.
“It has been set up and has been running since last week. This week we received a similar machine for the Gwanda Provincial Hospital and it has just been set up,” she said.
“Transportation remains a challenge due to a shortage of ambulances and service vehicles to facilitate contact tracing within communities and following up cases within communities.”
Dr Chikodzore said PPE remains in short supply because of the high numbers of people being handled at ports of entry, the increased number of Covid-19 positive cases that were being recorded and community contact tracing. — @DubeMatutu