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Govt seeks to scale up hospital bed capacity

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GOVERNMENT is scaling up bed capacity at the country’s hospitals in anticipation of an increase in Covid-19 admissions, as the third wave continues to hit Zimbabwe.
Some health facilities including Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals have stopped accepting elective surgery patients and are discharging people at the earliest possible time so as to increase bed capacity for Covid-19 admissions.
Parirenyatwa has capacity for more than 400 beds.
As at 21 July, there were 882 hospitalised cases, with 112 being new admissions. Of these, 71 were severe and 30 in intensive care.
Cabinet did not specify how much bed capacity would be created but said the move was part of the third wave containment plan.
“Increasing the bed capacity at Mpilo and Sally Mugabe central hospitals; designation of Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital and Ekusileni Hospital as Covid-19 district hospitals for Harare and Bulawayo, respectively;” this week’s cabinet briefing revealed.
The plan also includes strengthening private sector participation, improving conditions of service for health workers and operationalising virtual hospitals in which every district will have a rapid response team to attend to cases of acute Covid-19 clinical distress. Covid-19 risk allowances will be reviewed.
Cumulatively, Zimbabwe had 93 421 cases and 2870 deaths as at 22 July.
Cabinet also announced that it had approved the decongesting of both public and private sector workplaces in light of the continued rise in Covid-19 cases.
“Government has further reduced its workforce to 25%, on a two-week rotational interval. Priority will be given to the vaccinated personnel,” cabinet said.
“That the Courts of Law be opened only for remand and urgent cases; that all civil servants should be vaccinated and those that fall ill, without having been vaccinated will not be entitled to the COVID-19 insurance.”
“That all civil servants should be tested for COVID-19 at the commencement and end of the two week rotational interval; that a locum-based Covid-19 risk allowance payment model will be adopted for the health personnel in the red zone as part of the incentive schemes.” –STAFF WRITER.

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