…Rujeko Clinic too small
…authorities expect upsurge of cases in coming weeks
…no skills to operate ventilators
Authorities in Masvingo are exploring more possible isolation facilities, with expectations that there will be an upsurge of Covid-19 cases after the lockdown incubation period, TellZim can report.
The City of Masvingo-run Rujeko Clinic is the only isolation facility so far, but it is understood to be too small to make a meaningful difference should many people require services at once after the incubation period.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines the ‘incubation period’ as the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. The organisation says most estimates of the incubation period for the novel coronavirus range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.
City of Masvingo acting town clerk Edward Mukaratirwa said the clinic could only accommodate up to 10 people at once.
“I have been informed by our Health department that the clinic can hold not more than 10 patients at a time. That is the capacity of the facilities we have but it is our wish to be able to do more in the fight against the spread of the virus,” said Mukaratirwa.
He said he was glad that the medical equipment donation from Germany that the city made to Masvingo Provincial Hospital last year included a ventilator which he hoped would be useful should there be need.
City of Masvingo is in a twinning arrangement with the German Municipality of Kernen and some nationals of the European country who are part of the Kernen-Masvingo Association made a donation to the city which included an ambulance. City fathers say part of the donation, which included the ventilator, was forwarded to Masvingo Provincial Hospital.
Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr Amadeus Shamu, however, said he was yet to assess the functionality of the said ventilator and raised concerns that there were no readily-available skills to operate such kind of equipment.
“I am yet to find out about the ventilator which is still at our workshop. There would be need for extensive training on how to handle the ventilator since we don’t have the skills here,” said Shamu.
He said local health authorities were looking at the possibility of turning the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)-owned Simon Mazorodze Clinic in Mucheke A and Mashava Mine Hospital into isolation facilities.
He urged people to comply with government’s lockdown regulations, warning that there were neither enough isolation facilities nor a cure for Covid-19.
“We need more isolation facilities to deal with serious cases. As a result, those who will test positive but display mild symptoms and are not critical will not be taken in. They will be encouraged to practice self-isolation at home. We will only take those who are in critical condition and require oxygen support,” warned Shamu.