Hurungwe District Hospital has been overrun by Covid-19 infections as six nurses have tested positive since 1 January, a top official has confirmed.
Hurungwe district medical officer (DMO) Frankson Masiye appealed to the community to take heed of the current lockdown restrictions and stay indoors after the nurses tested positive in Karoi last week.
The six nurses were among 22 workers tested last week. They are in self-isolation.
Masiye told The NewsHawks: “As Hurungwe district, we have been overrun by infections after six of our supporting staff including nurses tested positive. These were among those who were manning two of the identified patients who tested positive since 1 January 2021. One of the patients passed on.’’
Hurungwe is the second largest district in the country and encompasses 26 outlying rural clinics.
Hurungwe Referral District Hospital in Karoi, 204 kilometres north-west of Harare, is struggling to offer services to patients at who want testing at its outlying clinics.
“Our main challenge is lack of fuel to get testing swabs to these communities as we have a limited number of these kits locally and we rely with our provincial hospital for efficient and quick results. We would like to make contact tracing to some patients from outlying communities so that we can attend to them,” Masiye said.
“The sad reality is that the new wave is taking no chances. We appeal to our community leaders to spread the word so that people stay indoors. If there is no reason to travel and visiting others, please don’t as we are overworking ourselves.”
Karoi Town Council chairperson Abel Matsika said funeral attendance limitations have not been effective, putting the whole district in trouble.
“The latest statistics of local infections and deaths may be underreported. We are in trouble after the festive season and we must prop up awareness and keep low numbers of those attending funerals where spread of infections may rise. Covid is taking advantage of underlying factors while people are attending funerals in hundreds. We must brace up for the worst as a district,’ said Matsika.
Masiye said the latest surveillance showed the district has not been spared the vagaries of a poorly resourced health delivery system.
“We are in trouble as communities are not complying with the lockdown and taking precautionary measure of wearing facemask that has become fashion style. This is about our health. We appeal that to people to adhere to World Health Organisation guidelines of wearing face masks, social distance and, most importantly, staying indoors,’’ Masiye said the district had not recorded a positive case from pupils writing Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations.
‘‘For now, we can say schools are safe as we have not received any reports of any Covid-19 infections among students writing exams,” he said.